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While Rosemary’s father Steve Shanahan (“Analyze This” tough guy Joe Viterelli, sporting a delightfully thick Irish brogue) is highly skeptical of Hal’s motives, he’s won over by the young man’s sincerity and is so taken with his business ideas that he promotes him at the investment firm.
But all goes awry when Mauricio, frantic over his best friend’s myopia, tracks down Robbins and convinces him that Hal needs to be dehypnotized for his own good. With: Rosemary - Gwyneth Paltrow Hal - Jack Black Mauricio - Jason Alexander Steve Shanahan - Joe Viterelli Walt - Rene Kirby Reverend Larson - Bruce Mc Gill Tony Robbins - Tony Robbins Jill - Susan Ward Ralph - Zen Gesner Katrina - Brooke Burns Other Hostess - Rob Moran Li'i Boy - Joshua Li'i Boy Shitani Artie - Kyle Gass Jen - Laura Kightlinger Nurse Tanya Peeler - Nan Martin Young Hal - Sasha Joseph Neulinger Waiter - John E.
When the comic situations and gags are just flat-out hilarious, as they often have been in the brothers’ work, the stylistic roughness doesn’t much matter.
In this film, however, with the relatively untested Black coming on awfully strong, the lack of directorial finesse lets the enterprise down, creating some clunky scenes and dead air where laughs might have been expected.
Rosemary - Gwyneth Paltrow Hal - Jack Black Mauricio - Jason Alexander Steve Shanahan - Joe Viterelli Walt - Rene Kirby Reverend Larson - Bruce Mc Gill Tony Robbins - Tony Robbins Jill - Susan Ward Ralph - Zen Gesner Katrina - Brooke Burns Other Hostess - Rob Moran Li'i Boy - Joshua Li'i Boy Shitani Artie - Kyle Gass Jen - Laura Kightlinger Nurse Tanya Peeler - Nan Martin Young Hal - Sasha Joseph Neulinger Waiter - John E. Shanahan - Jill Christine Fitzgerald Spastic Bella - Fawn Irish Bella - Erinn Bartlett For a romantic comedy about seeing beyond fat to a person’s inner beauty, “Shallow Hal” could use a little extra comic poundage.
The Farrelly brothers’ latest sees the team tapping a sweeter, milder vein of humor than their outrageous norm, one defined by an overriding good-hearted moral and goosed by the far-flung notion of Gwyneth Paltrow playing an obese young lady whose svelte charms only Jack Black can see.
Grateful for the attention but suspicious of being admired for qualities she knows she lacks, Rosemary, who’s heavy enough to repeatedly break restaurant chairs she’s sitting upon, warily allows Hal to court her, and both are surprised when they realize that she is Hal’s boss’ daughter.
And third, find yourself a classic beauty with a perfect can, and great totties.
With platinum blond hair and an accentuated figure even in her non-tubby incarnation, this is a different Paltrow, one with a more generic and less distinguished look.
Pic also provides Black with his first starring role after his breakthrough supporting turn in “High Fidelity.” Amazingly, after five films, the Farrellys have not progressed one iota in the realm of technique; their filmmaking skills remain as rudimentary as they were on “Dumb and Dumber” seven years ago.
Although it’s low on hefty laughs and the PG-13 rating won’t thrill the Farrellys’ old core audience of gross-out seeking teens, Fox release has enough amusing and endearing moments to put it over as a reasonably commercial date movie before the holiday blockbusters move in.
In addition to repping a change of pace for the Farrellys, “Hal” marks a significant departure for Paltrow away from her status as the tony Miramax house actress and into a thoroughly mainstream low- to middlebrow starring vehicle.