Review: “Shallow Hal”

There’s something about Hal which is kind of sweet, but troubling. The Farrelly Bros. have created a comedy which, when you consider their previous work, one immediately thinks bad taste fat jokes. In actuality ‘Hal’ proves anything but – almost bludgeoning its audience by repeating over and over again how bad it is to make jokes about differences in appearance.

The directors go out of their way to be so politically correct and make sure their film has a good moral message that they forgot to insert gags, making this one of the flattest comedies of the year. What few gags remain have been used in all the trailers or commercials, whilst others that appear toward the end (such as an appendage of Jason Alexander) are just too little too late.

Great comic actor Jack Black does his most disappointing role in ages here which is a real shame as this is his first major leading role. Jason Alexander is also wasted, but the saving grace surprisingly enough is Gwyneth Paltrow.

Throughout the first 2/3 of the film in her thin form she still has her performance down pat showing off the qualities many of us who’ve had battle with weight feel – self-consciousness, awkwardness in situations, and inherent skepticism and cynicism. While I applaud the Farrelly’s for at least trying something more grown up, next time they set out to make a comedy they should at least make it funny.