Shallow Hal

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" sounds noble and wise unless you happen to be shallow and insensitive. Single friends Hal (Jack Black) and Mauricio (Jason Alexander) insist on dating beautiful women. Unfortunately, the women they desire are also looking for handsome partners. Hal's perception of beauty suddenly changes when he is hypnotized to see inner beauty rather than physical perfection. He meets and immediately falls in love with 300-pound Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), a very kind and caring young woman. In Hal's eyes, Rosemary has all the physical attributes of, well, Gwyneth Paltrow, but his friends see her as a grossly overweight freak. In spite of SHALLOW HAL's good intentions, its unrealistic, exaggerated portrayal of homely, overweight people will make many viewers uncomfortable. Contrasting views create some humor, but laughs depending on Rosemary stuffing her mouth, breaking chairs and wearing a bikini bathing suit are just not funny.

Hal's need to seek out good-looking women can be traced back to his preacher father, who on his deathbed tells his 9-year-old son in crude terms the importance of a well-shaped woman. His attraction to Rosemary leads to a bedroom scene where she disrobes with her back to the camera. They fall into bed together with sex implied. Although Rosemary is very aware of her obesity and is completely baffled by Hal's interest in her, she flaunts her flabby body by wearing a bikini bathing suit, short skirts and thong underwear that is exposed several times. Mauricio admits a very unusual physical defect to Hal when confronted about his failed relationships with women. But that defect is minor compared to Walt (Rene Kirby), who is crippled by spina bifida and walks on all fours. He delights in hanging out in clubs, looking up girls' dresses and panting like a dog. Sexual innuendo, Christian bashing, slang references to women's breasts and sexual intercourse, plus 19 obscenities and eight profanities overshadow any deeper messages in SHALLOW HAL.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
20th Century Fox Film Corp., 10201 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times Mild 4, moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 1, s-word 10, other 9

Profanity: Several (8) times Regular 7 (J 2, G, swear to G, G-sake 2, Jeez); Exclamatory 1

Violence: Few times Moderate (obese woman breaks furniture and falls)

Sex: Implied once (couple in bed together)

Nudity: Near Nudity- Few times (woman disrobes with back to camera, obese woman in brief swimsuit, thong underwear exposed; man partially drops trousers to expose his backside)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (crude references to breasts, buttocks and sex, crippled man on all fours looks up women's dresses)

Drugs: Few times (drinking in clubs)

Other: Christian preacher portrayed as womanizer; message of inner beauty subverted by comical use of obesity

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and young adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.