Shallow Hal

AKA Deep End Lah

Gwyneth Paltrow drinks a milk shake. (Never thought I'd see the day.)

Jack Black stars as a non-handsome fellow who has spent his entire life looking for the most beautiful and perfectly-shaped woman in the world. Unfortunately, he was never quite able to find anyone who fits this description that would go on more than one date with him. Describing his troubles to a famous advisor, Tony Robbins, he casts some sort of spell on Jack Black which allows him to see the inner beauty of people. For example, the incredibly undesirable, tub 'o' lard with an exceptional personality is an extremely sexy Gwyneth Paltrow to Jack Black. So he starts dating this woman believing that she is no worse than a Vogue supermodel. Jack Black's buddy, fellow babe-hunter Jason Alexander, wonders what in high heavens has gotten into him and tries desperately to snap him out of it.

Directed by the Farrelly Brothers, fans may or may not be disappointed. This is no Dumb and Dumber! This time, the Farrelly Brothers attempt to implement a moral theme in their latest flick: don't date people based solely upon their looks, do it for what they're like inside. I'm not talking about what they look like naked--heavens no--I'm talking about dating people who have a great heart and personality, not some dumb blonde who happens to look like a supermodel. Of course all this morality-lesson baloney is enough to make me sick to my stomach, but in all honesty, it was well done! The jokes on the other hand---

Stink. There are some jokes in this movie yet they are not laugh-provoking. They are humorous at best. Certainly not at the Farrelly Brothers norm.

Jack Black was a good choice for the lead. He didn't do a great job, but his performance is overall satisfactory. Gwyneth Paltrow is actually top-billed in this movie for she is the famous face, even though Jack Black technically should have been top-billed. She turns in a descent performance, but nothing too notable. Fans of Seinfeld reruns will be pleased to find Jason Alexander giving a nutty performance.

Although this movie is just fine and dandy to the normal person, there is one great flaw. The acting is uninspired. And the direction didn't do anything to help! Though Paltrow has gone through her life being ridiculed by others because of her weight, she shows her pain yet we fail to feel it. When Jack Black suddenly loses interest in Paltrow (happens later in the movie) we fail to feel Paltrow's heartache. Nope, don't see this flick expecting to be moved!


Despite the flaws, I admire this movie for its good heart. Even though sometimes it can feel like you're being bogged down with a morality lecture, "Shallow Hal" is still entertaining. Recommended, though slightly.

Movie reviewed by Michael Lawrence



Gwyneth Paltrow, Jack Black, Jason Alexander, Joe Viterelli, Rene Kirby, Bruce McGill, Tony Robbins, Susan Ward, Zen Gesner, Brooke Burns, Rob Moran, Joshua "Li'l Boy" Shintanti, Kyle Glass, Laura Kightlinger, Nan Martin, Sasha Joseph Neulinger, John E. Jordan

Directed by:

Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly


2001 romance/comedy

Rated PG-13.


Don Ignacio's score: B-

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