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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references and situations.
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Strong language for a PG-13, including one use of "f--k," plus several "s--t"s, "d--k," "t-ts," "hell," "ass," "crap," "damn," "oh my God," and other crude/slang terms.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has very strong language for a PG-13, especially the sexual references. Characters drink, and several scenes are set at a bar/nightclub. The overall theme of the movie is the importance of judging people based on their behavior, not their looks. Robbins explains that Black is not hypnotized now -- he was hypnotized before, when he thought that all of the TV and movie images of beauty were what mattered. Some viewers may feel that the movie itself makes fun of people who do not fit current standards of beauty. A disabled character is treated with complete naturalness -- he is by no means perfect (because he gets around on all fourts, he tells girls he recognizes them by their panties), but he's good-hearted and respected. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Farrelly brothers, known for gross-out comedies, have taken a couple of giant, if uncertain, steps toward the mainstream with this fairly conventional romantic comedy. SHALLOW HAL even has an undeniably sweet moral -- that true beauty is seen with the heart, not the eyes. Black's specialty is a sort of frenzied but charming energy, and unfortunately, this movie does not give him much opportunity to show it off. Paltrow has some nice moments as Rosemary, a vulnerable woman who has felt humiliatingly invisible all her life.
But one problem with the movie is that instead of the characters themselves being funny, the jokes in the movie happen around them. Black and Paltrow do the best they can, but there just is not enough comic energy at the core of the movie. Some Farelly trademarks make it into the movie, including a disabled character (athlete Rene Kirby, who has spina bifida) and a bizarre physical aberration. But overall, it seems as though it is something of a transitional film for the Farrellys, enjoyable on its own and as a suggestion of better things to come.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.