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Shallow Hal
Shallow Hal (Soundtrack)

Shallow Hal Review

Directed By: Peter & Bobby Farrelly.
Starring: Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jason Alexander.

I watched three 'alleged' comedies this weekend and I have to say it is frightening to report that of the three (Shallow Hal, The Animal and Freddy Got Fingered) Tom Green emerges the clear winner. I'll go as far to say that Tom Green comes off as a comedy genius with guts to spare compared to the rather inane Animal and insipid, uninspired and frightfully politically correct Shallow Hal.

When the Farrelly brothers come off as preachy and dull you know you are watching talents in decline. In fact, their last good film was There's Something About Mary and their only great film is Kingpin, an underrated and far superior flick to There's Something About Mary.

Shallow Hal has a great premise. Hal (Jack Black) takes the advice of his dying father and dates only the embodiments of physical perfection. But that all changes after Hal has an unexpected run-in with self-help guru Tony Robbins. Hal is then smitten after meeting the obese Rosemary, as he sees her kindness and humor translated into the physical perfection that is Gwyneth Paltrow.

Endless jokes could be played on Hal's crude and shallow persona but everything is played out so nice. His insensitivity is thrown to the wayside and the joke soon flat lines and becomes uninspired. Another possible lane of comedy, showing the pretty girls as being old, ugly and mean is never explored fully nor is the idea that an ugly woman could still be mean and vice versa.

Jack Black busts his ass to try and make this funny but never does the material serve him. Jason Alexander and Gwyneth Paltrow also must suffer as this script just never dishes out the laughs so needed in what is supposed to be a comedy. Everybody tries their best to make a rather pedestrian script fly but at best it hops occassionally.

The only other stand-out is the non-actor, and I am assuming friend of Farrelly's, Rene Kirby; a solidly built man with spina bifida who walks on all fours. This man not only provies a unique perspective on things, he can be damn funny while doing it and it is without any pretension or pity. Stay through the credits just to see the skiing footage of him, amazing stuff.

Note to Farrelly Bros.: Next comedy...make it funny.

P.S.: Funny. Not bad....funny.

When it comes down to it there really isn't much point going on, however I will add far, in my top ten bad films of 2001, this is in the top five. I'm giving it a score of 1.5 out of 5 for Jason Alexander's nobby tail joke.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Commentary by the Farrelly Brothers
11 deleted scenes
4 Featurettes: HBO special
Reel Comedy TV special
"Seeing Through the Layers"
"In the Deep End with Shallow Hal"
Music video "Wall in Your Heart" by Shelby Lynne

Video: Widescreen 1.85:1

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

The DVD Review:
At least the Farelly's have loaded up this disc set and maybe I can find a bit more faith in them to elevate the low rating I gave them on the movie for the disc set itself.

Evil Ash

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