Jack Black is a terrible actor. He might be the worst I’ve ever seen. I love him. The thing is, the guy doesn’t act, he just talks. Talks like he’d talk to you or me, converses just like he’s hangin out living his life and oh isn’t this nice. The guy is real. He doesn’t act, he doesn’t have to. Black knows how to be himself and it’s magnetic.
His latest outing is also his first starring role, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal, the story of a man obsessed with appearance. Not in himself, after all, Hal (Black) isn’t exactly the most “physically fit” man, but in women. His standards are so impossibly high, that he totally ignores the inner beauty of others in favor of big hooters. But, when Hal finds himself trapped in an elevator with self-help guru Tony Robbins, Robbins “hypnotizes him” to see the inner person.
Hal falls in love, with a woman that can only be described as gargantuan. Yet, to him, Rosemary is thin, beautiful, and played by the abnormally skinny Paltrow. Unlike every other Farrelly Brothers movie you may have seen, Shallow Hal never once dips into the land of the gross and disgusting. It’s worst slip into typical movie fare being a fairly innocuous prehensile tail. Instead, this time, the Farrelly’s sacrifice gross out for heart. Something their last big effort, Me, Myself, and Irene totally lacked.
In short, Shallow Hal is stupendous, managing to tread into the uncomfortable world of low self-image, while maintaining a perfect level of funny, light-hearted sweetness. And in spite of massive protests from earthquake causing, city leveling, buffet devouring, pro-obesity organizations (what’s wrong with this country when we have people encouraging others to be obese??), Shallow Hal is actually extremely sensitive to the needs and feelings of the world’s overweight citizens. Actually, that’s the whole point. Its what’s on the inside that matters.
Who would have thought the Farrelly brothers would ever make a movie with a moral????