a comedy about a shallow nerd captivated by a 300lb rhinoceros, it's
really a parable about not judging people on appearances - albeit
one laced with the sort of juvenile gags which made "There's
Something About Mary" and "Dumb & Dumber" such
Larson (Black) has grown up living by his father's deathbed dictum
that beauty is the only thing that matters. But all that changes
when he meets real-life TV guru Tony Robbins in a stalled elevator
and is hypnotised. From now on, Tony decrees, Hal will see the inner
beauty of every woman he meets.
so it proves when Rosemary, the grossly overweight Peace Corps volunteer
he encounters in a department store, is transformed in his mind
into a gorgeous willowy blonde (Paltrow).
humour comes from everyone's appalled reactions to Rosemary's obesity
and Hal's blithe obliviousness to it. She may wear knickers the
size of parachutes and break chairs in restaurants, but to him -
and us - she's a 24-carat cutie.
in the latter half do we see Gwynnie in her much-debated fat suit
- by which time the moral has been hammered home with all the delicacy
of a rampaging sumo wrestler.
in parts, sickeningly sentimental in others, "Shallow Hal"
has the Farrellys trying to expand their range, with only mildly
Hal" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 1st February 2002.
link below to comment on this film.
Reviewed by Neil
Smith , BBC Films