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Shallow Hal wants a gal.

Hal Larsen (Jack Black) only ever dates beautiful trophy women on account of advice he received on his death bed from his father. However, a chance meeting with a self-help guru helps him to see inner beauty first and foremost. Soon after, he falls in love with his boss' severely overweight daughter, which as it raises eyebrows everywhere the couple go, Hal is oblivious as to what everyone else is on about.

Tender, sweet and subtle are not words one readily attributes to the Farrelly Brothers, but in Shallow Hal they have managed to blend all three with their penchant for close to the knuckle humour.

Gwyneth Paltrow in the dual role dons the fat-suit and once again showcases her unheralded comic timing, while Jack Black proves ebullient and engaging in a role that calls for him to shut out what he is actually meant to be seeing. In support Jason Alexander gets the weasel best friend comedy sidekick role, and is wonderfully abhorrent and good at keeping the cards close to his chest.

It's never uproariously funny, but it doesn't need to be, it tickles where it needs to, and it prods the emotional psyche with requisite impact. In a world that has become obsessed with the girth and weight of a person, especially with women - and as it happens is led by Hollywood, Shallow Hal is refreshing entertainment. 7/10

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