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Shallow Hal [DVD] [2001]

Comedy is measured in laughs, not weight, in the Jack Black comedy Shallow Hal. Fox has done a passable job on this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, though overall this is an only mediocre effort. While the colors and black levels are all mostly solid and detailed, a fair amount of edge enhancement and haloing show up in multiple spots. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. This is an adequate sound mix that aptly supports the film. There are a few directional effects to be found here, though nothing that would constitute a thoroughly exciting track. All aspects of the mix are free and clear of any hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are Dolby 2.0 Surround tracks in Spanish and French, plus English subtitles. Fox has made sure this DVD is worth its weight in extras, starting with a commentary track by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. While this commentary is full of funny and amusing anecdotes about the production, overall there isn't a lot of technical information to be found here. An HBO special titled "Being Shallow Hal" features actress Brooke Burns interviewing people on the street about being shallow, as well as some clips from the film. This is a fluffy yet entertaining piece that should please fans looking for a few more chuckles. "Reel Comedy: Shallow Hal" is a 22-minute piece that doesn't give one much insight on the making of the film -- it's basically an extended trailer. Next up are some deleted scenes with optional director's commentary. Some of these cut sequences are fun, though most were rightly left on the cutting-room floor. Two featurettes give the viewer a rather neat look at the special effects and body suits used in the movie ("Seeing Through the Layers" and "In the Deep End"), allowing a rare peek into the effects department. Finally there is a music video by Shelby Lynne for the song "Wall in Your Heart," a 30-second promo for the film's soundtrack, a non-anamorphic theatrical trailer, and various trailers for other Fox films.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (27 out of 27)

    Special Features

    • Full-length audio commentary by directors Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
    • 11 deleted scenes with optional Farrelly Brothers commentary
    • HBO "Making of" special
    • Comedy Central's reel comedy: Shallow Hal
    • Music video: "Wall in Your Heart" by Shelby Lynne
    • "Seeing Through the Layers" makeup featurette
    • "In at the Deep End With Shallow Hal" stunts featurette
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 1.85:1)
    • Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
    • Subtitles: English


    Shallow Hal
    Jack Black continues his march to stardom with this typical Farrelly brothers blend of broad comedy and a heartfelt message. Black is Hal Larsen, a shallow man rapidly approaching middle age whose superficiality can be attributed to his father's deathbed admonition to only date young, beautiful women. Hal and his best friend, Mauricio (Jason Alexander), have taken the advice to heart, but Hal finds all of his physically impressive girlfriends consistently lacking in other qualities that would make them ideal mates. When he bumps into self-help guru Tony Robbins (playing himself), the motivational entrepreneur is intrigued by Hal's predicament and hypnotizes him so that he'll only see the inner beauty of women. Hal is quickly smitten with Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow), a blonde Peace Corps volunteer who's tenderhearted, funny, and intelligent. She is also gorgeous and meets Hal's basic criteria of outer perfection, but what he doesn't realize is that Robbins' spell is working and he cannot see that Rosemary actually weights 300 pounds. When Mauricio is finally able to snap Hal out of his charmed state, Hal's in love with the inwardly perfect woman and must overcome his obsession with beauty. The script for Shallow Hal (2001) was developed when Peter Farrelly enjoyed the humorous letters written to a mutual friend by Sean Moynihan, a computer software executive who followed the filmmaker's advice to take up screenwriting. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Gwyneth Paltrow
      Gwyneth Paltrow - Rosemary Shanahan
    • Jack Black
      Jack Black - Hal Larsen
    • Jason Alexander
      Jason Alexander - Mauricio
    • Joe Viterelli
      Joe Viterelli - Steve Shanahan
    • Image coming soon
      Rene Kirby - Walt

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 27 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

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    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      'Hal' pleasantly shallow

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      The Farrelly brothers have done it again. From the makers of such outré comedies as "There's Something About Mary" and "Me, Myself and Irene" comes "Shallow Hal," a comedy with a conscience. Known for movies that feature imperfect men lusting after gorgeous girls with a few laughs thrown in for good measure, the brothers delve a bit deeper this time, seeking to convince us that fat is fun. Jack Black (the crazy music store employee in "High Fidelity") is Hal, a shallow male (if you'll pardon the redundancy) of modest looks, besotted with breasts and waiflike figures. He prefers a girl with just one large breast to one with half a brain. Needless to say, in the true Farrelly tradition, Hal is a loser when it comes to girls. Hal's messiah is Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who achieves the impossible and makes him see inner beauty. Ergo, Hal moves in a haze, stripping fat women of the excess padding, glossing over manly moustaches etc., to visualize them as the epitome of pulchritude. One such beneficiary of Hal's x-ray vision is Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), who trades her corsets from "Shakespeare in Love" and "Emma" for a fat suit. Despite being well over 300 pounds and gluttonously devouring any source of fat within range, Hal can only see her as the nubile nymphet of his dreams. His consternation at being in a minority of one in his admiration is palpable. Eventually the blinkers fall off, courtesy his shallower pal, the meddling Mauricio (Jason Alexander). The crux of the film lies in how Hal confronts the fat in his femme fatale. Black's virtuoso performance as Hal makes us squirm. Rosemary, with the fat suit, is ponderously poignant. She shames us with her starkly evident low self-esteem and tame acceptance of stereotypical notions of what passes off as beauty. If only her character had more flesh than fat, the full range of emotions that obese people experience could have been hung out to dry. By resorting to stilted portrayals in black and white of fat people being angelic do-gooders while ugly non-fat people (the ones in this film, barring Jill, can't be called slim), are shallow shysters, the many shades of gray in between are ignored. Paltrow took a stroll in a New York hotel with the fat suit on, and has been quoted as saying that " one was making eye contact with me, or would even look in my direction. No one wanted to connect with me. It was a profound, very sad and startling experience." Some of that sadness is revealed in her portrayal of Rosemary. However, it would however, be a safer bet that UFOs would land at Stanford than to hope that Hollywood would make us laugh and cry in the same movie. Paltrow looks as radiant as ever. Rather strangely, she reminds one of Phoebe (of "Friends" fame) when she attempts to be goofy. Jack Black has the makings of a star. His Hal is a flawed bungler who is redeemed solely by an inner core of middle-American harmlessness. Rene Kirby as Walt is a casting coup. His joie de vivre is at the heart of the movie's message. Kirby, an ex-IBM employee, was discovered by the Farrellys in a bar in Burlington, as he plodded along on all fours (owing to spina bifida). The character was specifically written for him. Jason Alexander, chubbier than ever, does not disappoint as Mauricio. The Farrellys have been known for at least one memorable cinematic moment in their movies - most notable of course, Ben Stiller's nuts and bolt coming in the way of his zipper, and Cameron Diaz's organic hair gel in "There's Something About Mary." This one has a twist in the tail. Eminently enjoyable.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Journey on Inward Beauty


      I thought the Movie delivered on it's message of Beauty within a person, I thought the comic delivery were superb!! Jack Black was incredible. Jason Alexander had (2) incredible Classic Lines of Humor were priceless.The First one in the Club when looking For Hal; " What in the name of all that is Holy" in describing who Hal was dancing with. The second line was when explaining to Tony Robbins he has to change Hal back because all the women Hal was seeing were " Ugly" Tony Robbins said who say there ugly? Here's the line after a pause by Jason he then said " Bausch & Lomb. Too, Too Funny. This Movie is a 10+.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Beauty IS in the Eye of the Beholder!

      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      This is certainly classified as a comedy in every sense but it is also much more than that. It does have a human sympathetic side that really fills out the story line and makes you think about how you look at other things especially other people. Watch this movie and see if it changes your thought processes just a little bit for the better!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Painfully truthful about human nature

      • My Best Buy Premier Silver MemberElite Plus Member

      Funny movie about two relative obnoxious guys always on the make. At least one of them, Hal, funally realizes how self-centered and superficial he is and discovers the real beauty...the beauty within....

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Customer Service

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Customer service is great. Very helpful!!! They answered every question that I had in regards to games/movies/cooling pads etc. Which made for a pleasant and informative decision in my purchase decision.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great movie about seeing what is really important

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Shallow Hal is at times a somewhat silly movie, but the message is powerful. People do need to look beyond another person's appearance to see the real person inside.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      funny movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      It is a great cute movie for the family to watch. It is not too cheesy and pretty funny.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Fantastic movie and always entertaining, while trying to teach that beauty isn’t just about looks

      I would recommend this to a friend

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