Senior HTF Member
- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
Film Length: 113 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
The Biggest Love Story Ever Told
At the age of ten, a chubby little boy named
Hal was ordered by his dying father to seek
out in his lifetime only women of great beauty,
not to settle for any girl who was any less than
Now in his mid-life, Hal (Jack Black) has become
a shallow, superficial, chauvinistic pig, who
tries to pick up women who are out of his league --
ignoring those who are not attractive physically.
Hanging out with his best friend Mauricio (Jason
Alexander), at the local club, he finds himself
getting turned down by women time and time again.
Hal's life suddenly changes upon getting stuck
in an elevator with self-help guru Tony Robbins,
who takes a great interest in Hal and decides to
help him by only letting Hal see a woman's inner
Suddenly, Hal finds that beautiful women are
responsive to his approaches, and no longer hostile
to him as was the case before. The reason, quite
obvious to the viewer, is that Hal is hitting on
ugly fat women, only seeing their inner beauty.
Hal takes a personal liking in a 300 pound woman
named Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), who he sees as
a slim, fit 110 pound beautiful woman. The two
begin a comedic romance that pokes fun at the way
we look at beauty from outside in.
From the Farrelly brothers, Shallow Hal is
a wonderfully funny and enjoyable film with less
gags and more sweetness than what we have come to
expect from the Directors who brought us Something
About Mary. The film is filled with lots of
great laughs while delivering a very important
message as the characters, one by one, reveal their
actual physical appearances at the very end of
the film, after both Hal and the audience have
gotten to know them for their true, beautiful selves.
How is the transfer?
What can I say other than this is a Fox DVD?
The transfer is wonderful, sporting a very clean
print that exhibits only a hint of video noise
in darker scenes. Colors peak out wonderfully --
especially Gwyneth Paltrow's pink dress. There
really is nothing negative I can say about the
quality of this transfer.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix gives the film's pop
soundtrack a nice punch. It's kind of cool to
hear Neil Young's "Goldrush" being played across
each of the channels. It is also the film's pop
music and score that puts out explosive LFE
channel bass that had my subwoofer pounding away
with each beat. The LFE channel is very aggressive
in this mix, and I miss such bass in some of the
more recent films I have reviewed. The rest of the
mix is dedicated to surround effects like crowd
noise that come off very nicely in the scenes inside
a nightclub or restaurant.
Fox has put together as much extra material that
they could fit into one disc without even hailing
it as a Special Edition, despite the fact it has
very special content.
Once inserting the disc, you are treated to a
rather cool psychedelic animated sequence that
has character heads popping in and out of a
pinwheel background while audio clips from the
movie play in loop.
The DVD features a full-length commentary by
Directors Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly.
Being Shallow Hal, is not your typical
HBO promotional fluff-piece as it starts off
with host Brooke Burns interviewing people on a
Santa Monica promenade about what it means to
be "shallow". The featurette than becomes more
typical as we get the general overview of the
movie with lots of clips and videotaped interviews
with the likes of Bobby & Peter Farrelly, Jack
Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. Something everyone
will enjoy seeing is make-up Effects Designer
Tony Gardner explaining the make-up done on
Gwyneth. We are treated to actual videotape of
makeup tests that were done in a NY hotel room.
After she was made to look 300 pounds, she took
a walk through the hotel bar, where nobody made
eye contact with her. This turned out to be a
very sad and startling experience for the actress.
The rest of the featurette deals with behind-the-
camera antics that took place on the set as well
as the cast talking about how much they admired
working with each other.
(length: approx. 14 minutes)
Reel Comedy: Shallow Hall is a Comedy
Central featurette that gives a general overview
of the movie using clips and interviews. This
is more of a vehicle for Jack Black to joke around
about the movie, along with Tony Robbins, who
clown around about what happened during their
scenes together. Gwyneth joins in later as she
talks about how intimidated she felt about working
with Jack Black, but was surprised at how he made
her feel so comfortable. All in all, this
featurette adds no particular insight, becoming
a showcase for Jack Black to act silly.
(length: approx. 21 minutes)
No less than 11 Deleted Scenes can be
played back with or without commentary by the
Farrelly brothers. Some of which include:
* Hal fooling his co-workers into thinking he
just received a promotion.
* An extended scene at the health club where
a very funny joke involving Walt (Rene Kirby)
on a treadmill was ultimately cut.
* A scene with Walt (Rene Kirby)singing in a
* A scene in the park where Hal and Maurice
fight with each other.
The Farrelly brothers explain that most of
the material was cut simply because they tend
to write very long scenes. Their movies also
tend to become up to 3.5 hours in length, and
they are faced with cutting lots of material
out of it after screening it to test audiences.
DO play the commentary during these deleted
scenes as it's VERY funny.
The most interesting added feature on this disc
comes in Seeing through the make-up where
make-up Effects Designer Tony Garner walks us
through the process of turning slim Paltrow into
a 300-lb woman. Initial problems with her makeup
hid the characteristics of the actress. The make-up
artists wanted to bring out Gwyneth's own natural
features through the suit and make-up. Using pictures
of heavy nude models, the makeup team was able to
get an idea of how to design their ideal person.
One heavy self-confident female was brought on the
set to consult Gwyneth on how to properly portray
a heavy person. There's a really neat look at how
at how burn make-up was applied to a little girl
and the importance of not using the color red in
the makeup. I think you'll have a lot of fun
watching this make-up featurette.
(length: approx. 13 minutes)
In the deep end with Shallow Hal takes
us pool side as we learn how the gigantic splash
sequence was done using a hydraulic system and
different diving boards.
(length: approx. 2 minutes)
Shelby Slynne's Music Video, "Wall In Your
Heart" is included as well as a promo spot
for the original motion picture soundtrack.
In addition to the film's Theatrical Trailer,
there are trailers for Minority Report and
Unfaithful, as well as a film called The
Banger Sisters with Goldie Hawn looking like
her daughter. A promo trailer for Farrelly
Brothers films on DVD is also presented.
You know, for a title such as this that comes
simply packaged, I just spent about 4 hours
going through all of the material on this
Shallow Hal DVD.
I would heavily (pun intended) recommend this
DVD just because the film is entertaining and
the supplements are fun to wade through.
Lots of fun to be had here for about $20 on-line.
Another quality release from Fox!
Release Date: July 2, 2002