Every now and then, Hollywood comes up with the the following storyline: the schlubby guy and the pretty girl. They meet, fall in love and end up together.
In 2001, Shallow Hal put a new twist on this theme. On his father’s deathbed, young Hal (Jack Black) makes a promise to only date pretty women. Years later, Hal meets Tony Robbins, who hypnotizes him. Hal will only see the inner beauty of women. Then Hal meets Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow). Due to his hypnosis, Hal cannot see that Rosemary is obese. When the hypnosis is undone by Mauricio (Jason Alexander), Hal’s best friend who is just as shallow as he is, will the relationship survive?
I have mixed feelings about this movie. Rosemary could be construed as a caricature, especially when played by a skinny actress like Paltrow. But there is also a lesson that the movie teaches without being too preachy.
Six years later, another movie premiered based on this basic premise. In Knocked Up (2007), Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is your average irresponsible party animal stoner man-child. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl), the average type A, straight forward hardworking woman. They meet at a club where Alison is celebrating her promotion. Alison finds herself pregnant after their one night stand and now Ben is trying become the mature hard working father to be.
This movie is not as offensive as some have stated. But the screenplay does at moments, descend into humor that only a 14 year old boy would appreciate.
Do I recommend them? Yes, but I recommend Knocked Up more than I recommend Shallow Hal.