Shallow Hal (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shallow Hal (2001)



Critic Consensus: While surprisingly sweeter and warm-hearted than previous Farrelly outings, Shallow Hal is also less funny and more bland.

Movie Info

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, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for language and sexual content)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: , , , , , , , , , ,
Written By: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Sean Moynihan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 2, 2002
Box Office: $70.7M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Jack Black
as Hal Larson
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Rosemary Shanahan
Jason Alexander
as Mauricio Wilson
Joe Viterelli
as Steve Shanahan
Bruce McGill
as Rev. Larson
Anthony Robbins
as Tony Robbins
Zen Gesner
as Ralph Owens
Brooke Burns
as Katrina
Rob Moran
as Tiffany
Kyle Gass
as Artie
Nan Martin
as Nurse Tanya Peeler
Molly Shannon
as Mrs. Larson
Fawn Irish
as Spastic Bella
Dan Murphy
as Cabbie
Brian Mone
as Board Member No. 1
Bob Mone
as Board Member No. 2
Don Gavin
as David Bouley
Libby Langdon
as Waitress
Gigi Moran
as Nurse No. 1
Caryl West
as Nurse No. 2
Brianna Gardner
as Sick Kid No. 1
Mariann Neary
as Information Attendan...
Christal Handy
as Information Attendan...
Jackie Flynn
as Manager
Sascha Knopf
as Gorgeous Tanya
Mary Wigmore
as Cute Hostess
Heather Ann Rosbeck
as Female Doorperson
Steve Tyler
as Bocce Club Waiter
Darius Rucker
as Maitre D'
Manon Von Gerkan
as Girl on Bike
Will Coogan
as Punk No. 1
Lyndon L. Byers
as Punk No. 2
Sara Stout
as Babe on Dance Floor
Molly Bergman
as Sorority Girl
Adriana Bega
as Sorority Girl
Keri Bruno
as Sorority Girl
Morgan Clements
as Sorority Girl
Jessica Nicole Fife
as Sorority Girl
Stacy Fuson
as Sorority Girl
Zoe Graham
as Sorority Girl
Nichole M. Hiltz
as Sorority Girl
Katie Holliday
as Sorority Girl
Ashley B. Howard
as Sorority Girl
T Jamison
as Sorority Girl
Mary LaJoinie
as Sorority Girl
Chelsea Marguerite
as Sorority Girl
Danae Miller
as Sorority Girl
Jennifer Pentecost
as Sorority Girl
Jennifer Sky
as Sorority Girl
Christina Della Rose
as Sorority Girl
Amanda Santos
as Sorority Girl
Dana Zimmer
as Sorority Girl
Bonnie Aarons
as Spastic Friend No. 1
Lisa Brounstein
as Spastic Friend No. 2
Herb Flynn
as Homeless Man No. 1
Michael Corrente
as Homeless Man No. 2
Ron Darling
as Other Li'iBoy
Anne E. Hodgson
as Bar Girl No. 1
Kelly McRorie
as Bar Girl No. 2
John Dennis
as Guy in Bar
Dean R. Palozej
as Bartender
Dede Kinerk
as Party Friend
David A. Kipper
as Department Store Cle...
Sayed Badreya
as Pediatric Doctor
David Getz
as Dr. James Uler
Tom Hohman
as Frat Boy No. 1
James Badstibner
as Frat Boy No. 2
Jesse Peter
as Sick Kid No. 1
Anna Byers
as Sick Kid No. 2
Robby Johns
as Kid in Tree
Tiffany Anne Marie L...
as Soda Shop Waitress
Hillary Matthews
as Pretty Girl
Tony Robbins
as Himself
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Shallow Hal

Critic Reviews for Shallow Hal

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (31)

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.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

The film is not as funny as their best, but fascinates in the discomforting way it foregrounds the brothers' normally buried, facile moral dialectic.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Romantic comedy is pretty tame for Farrelly Bros.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

The Farrellys take an artistic step backward with this soft, disappointingly sentimental comedy about the true nature of beauty; they seem to have forgotten their roots in the outrageous and gross-out.

Full Review… | January 13, 2007

[An] insulting new comedy from Bobby and Peter Farrelly.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

There's just about enough charm and laughs here to keep Farrelly fans happy. Even the fat ones.

Full Review… | February 13, 2003

Audience Reviews for Shallow Hal


This is one of those movies that I always watch if I happen to flip to it half an hour in on TBS or FX. Yes, there are plenty of fat jokes, but Gwyneth is the most down-to-earth I've ever seen her, and Jack Black gets some great dawning moments as well, like with Cadence in the burn ward.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


A message comedy? Perhaps. The Farrelly Brothers seem to be answering their critics who often see them as sophomoric (if that) with this bon bon (forgive me) that reminds that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The comedy: one fat joke after another. The message: like most messages, boring as hell (who do you think you are, tryin' ta larn me!). The final analysis: viewers choice.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Quite a generic Hollywood chic flick.

Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

Shallow Hal Quotes

– Submitted by Joselle A (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Shallow Hal on our Movie forum!