Shallow Hal had an interesting premise. What if a superficial, obsessed-with-breasts bum saw pretty women as ugly and ugly women as pretty. Okay, it’s not a particularly amazing premise, but it’s unique. Far too many men (and women) are focused on looks to the exclusion of character and personality.
That would be a movie possibly worth watching. This movie is not that other movie. It’s the story of a superficial, obsessed-with-breasts bum who is still superficial and obsessed with breasts—except that he now sees fat and ugly women as beautiful and with large breasts. In other words, whereas he used to be shallow about the outsides, now he’s shallow with the insides. It doesn’t really attack the superficiality of the whole thing.
What’s even worse is that the movie sinks to playing all of the worst stereotypes about fat people. Believe it or not, the movie actually degrades fat people. The protagonist, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is made to crush steel chairs, tilt canoes, eat incredible meals, and tip cars. You would think that a movie like this would swing the exact opposite way and be overly sensitive to the obese. If you saw There’s Something About Mary, the Farrelly Brothers other major movie, then you know that subtlety is not their strong point.