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Shallow Hal

Two FingersI feel like a million dollars, like a freshly-fucked teen boy who still has a boner and another girl waiting. This week, those grassfuckers in Hollywood finally did what I've been waiting for all along, their approval. Forget the approval of my mother, society or any organized religion. All I ever wanted was those oh-so-sincere arbiters of value in Hollywood to tell me that I was okay.

It's nice to see a movie about fat people, even if it's just Hollywood starlets in phony fat suits. But, that's all we can ever expect from those grassfuckers. They're actually afraid of real fat girls. They might eat all their edamame, or show them that being skin and bones ain't the most important thing in the world. Anyway, the folks in Hollywood have decided that for the next few weeks it's okay to love a full-figured gal. Not only is it okay, it's encouraged, at $8 a pop. Of course, I've been loving my fat chick for a long time. I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve because I've been married to my Fashion Bug and Ladies Plus shopper for many years now. This movie won't start a trend; the pricks won't re-examine their own practices; they won't hire more fat women, and they'll still be obsessed with skinny, shitty actresses like Charlize Theron. In fact, I bet they made this movie to try to talk the rest of the men into dating fat women so they can have all the disgustingly thin ones for themselves. I wouldn't put it past them.

And fuck 'em. Yeah, I have no problem looking at pretty women, and I love to see them naked, but at the same time I don't go around telling the world that all pretty women are hideous bitches inside and all fat and ugly girls have hearts of gold. One trip to the Arvada Tavern will confirm that there are tons of ugly ladies who are also entirely unpleasant, selfish hogs. Likewise, I'm sure there are beautiful ladies who are very sweet and intelligent, but they don't hang around Arvada. The world is more complex than those insulated little butterwhackers in L.A. will ever want to know.

The overrated Jack Black is Hal, a man who focuses entirely on the superficial in women more than even, say, your typical Sigma Chi member at a Polly Ester's nightclub. After an encounter with motivational-bullshit-guru Tony Robbins, Hal is hypnotized to see only the inner beauty in people. So, fat chicks look like supermodels and supermodels look like the Arvada Tavern Harelip. He falls in love with Gwyneth Paltrow, who to him looks like her skinny, translucent self, but to the rest of the world is a 300-pound broad who breaks two restaurant chairs (this third grade gag was so fucking funny the first time that they had to do it twice). Hal's friend, the useless Jason Alexander, is equally shallow and afraid that his friend will end up with an ugly girl. So, he reverses the hypnotic spell, and Hal must decide whether he loves the personality he fell in love with, or the physical appearance. I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that Hal chooses the fat, nice girl. Of course, Hollywood never does in real life. But for us unwashed masses, they go ahead and pretend they're all about depth and warmth. How dare I even suggest that Hollywood would choose superficial beauty over substance.

But, that's the not the problem with Shallow Hal. The problem is that the fucking Farrelly Brothers are so intent on making sure we understand the very important message that they dip the damn movie is schmaltz. There are few jokes, and those aren't very funny. Ha ha, the fat girl broke another chair. Tee hee, Hal kisses a fat old lady. Ho ho, that fat girl sure eats a lot of food. Oh my sides, that fat girl sure displaces a lot of water. And every fat joke is ended with something meant to make us feel sorry for the fat girl. What the fuck? First the Farrelly Brothers think they need to teach us about inner beauty, then they need to scold us about laughing about the jokes they just told?

The plot is as sloppy and loose as a late-night beer shit. Black's character is a good guy, apparently, because some periphery characters tell us so. The story relies on coincidences such as Paltrow being Black's boss's daughter. Paltrow runs into her ex-boyfriend at just the right moment. And everyone always runs into or find exactly who they need to at precisely the right moment. Fuck, if I wrote this script, I would be pretty ashamed of the hoary devices used to power it. Maybe they'd work in a flat-out comedy, but this isn't a comedy: it's a lecture. It's as static as a lecture, too. The movie might as well have been directed by eight-year olds for all the scenes of people just standing there talking.

Paltrow is supposed to be gorgeous, but she doesn't make me want to jerk off. She looks like someone just poked her in the eyes or she just got done crying. And she's a bony twig that fell off some hardwood tree. She's probably hoping to get a God damn Oscar for donning a fat suit and mucking up her good looks. But if those pretentious fucks in the Academy give her one for acting fat, my wife and all the chubbies at Hancock Fabric better get some too, because they do the obese thing better.

Jack Black is supposed to be some comedy hot shit, but I have yet to see him be funny in a movie. He was painfully over-the-top in High Fidelity, and he doesn't do shit here. He is just a short, heavy black hole into which other actors lines disappear. Maybe it's the material, but he sure as hell isn't generating any additional laughs with his performance. Alexander is just whiny and annoying. He made his fortune and should not get any more work. And what the fuck is Tony Robbins doing here? Leave it to Hollywood to try to validate a fucking con artist that sells motivational horseshit to the unsuspecting. Yet, this movie tries to make him a genuine expert on matters of the heart. If he weren't so fucking superficial, why does he always sell himself by associating with celebrities? What nonsense.

It's a God damn shame that the Farrelly Brothers, employers of Cameron Diaz, Rene Zellwegger and Gwyneth Paltrow, feel that they should be the ones to teach us about inner beauty. Two Fingers for the shallow Shallow Hal.

Additional Info

  • Rating: 2 Fingers
  • Filthy Says: Fat girls are okay too, says Hollywood, but we won't hire them.
  • Year of Release: 2001
  • MPAA: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy