Top positive review
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE...
on September 20, 2003
If you are a fan of the Farrelly brothers other movies, "King Pin", "There's Something About Mary", and "Dumb and Dumber", then you will really enjoy these two comedies.
"Me, Myself. and Irene" is a pretty funny, though somewhat sophomoric, movie. It is also pretty filthy, at times, and definitely not for the moviegoer of delicate sensibilities. There is something to offend just about everyone, so be prepared.
The basic premise of the movie is simple. A Rhode Island state trooper, Charley Baileygates, played by Jim Carrey, marries the prettiest and smartest girl in town. After she gives birth to triplets for whom Charley could not possibly be the father, for reasons obvious to the viewer, she later leaves him for another man, her soul mate and likely father of the triplets. She leaves Charley with the triplets, whom he raises as his own. The cuckolded Charley goes on to become the town joke and a seriously repressed man.
Eighteen years later, he snaps and begins to express his anger through an alternate personality and quintessential bad boy who calls himself Hank. Hank has attitude and plenty of it, and he lets everyone know that he is mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore. Charley's superiors send him to be evaluated, and he is given medication to control his psychiatric disorder.
Enter Irene, played by Renee Zellweger. Charley is asked to escort her to upstate New York where she is ostensibly wanted on a hit and run. Unbeknownst to either of them, she is being hunted down by dirty cops who are looking to silence her, as it is believed that she may have information that could take down her crooked ex boyfriend who is being investigated by the EPA.
During their trip, Hank, Charley, and Irene have a host of adventures, which are often hilarious, as Charley and Hank battle over who will become the dominant personality. The low key Zellweger is a good foil for the rubber faced Carrey's physical comedy. As Charley and Irene are pursued by the dirty cops, the now grown triplets, funny and profane, also add another element, as they go to their father's rescue.
The Farrelly brothers and Jim Carrey are a match made in heaven. Their style suits Carrey's, as the movie is full of the physical comedy and sight gags which are Carrey's forte.
"Shallow Hal" is one of the better films by the Farrelly brothers. Though they have not shaken off their lowbrow sense of humor, they have managed to better incorporate it into their film, so as not to lose all credibility. As a result, they have put together a pretty decent and unusual romantic comedy.
The plot revolves around our not so good looking leading man, Hal Larson (Jack Black) who, due a traumatic scene with his dying father when only nine years old, is fixated on dating only women who have super model looks. Pumped up by his equally not so good looking, best friend, Mauricio Wilson (Jason Alexander), Hal is hell-bent on dating only good looking women no matter how stupid, mean, or self absorbed they may be. It is no wonder that he has yet to find the woman of his dreams.
A run in with motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, changes Hal's life, when Tony places a subliminal message into Hal's subconscious, causing him to see only the person's inner beauty. When his path crosses that of the morbidly obese, but warm and kindly Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow), it is love at first sight for him. He does not see a fat girl but a beautiful and luminous Gwyneth Paltrow.
Hal continues to see only the inner beauty of all those whom he meets,
until he is brought back to a jarring reality by his erstwhile best friend. What happens when faced with the reality of having a morbidly obese girlfriend is a trial and tribulation that only Hal can resolve. Will true love win out? Watch the movie and find out.
Gwyneth Paltrow is sensational as Rosemary. Her delivery is affecting, as she comes across as sensitive, sweet, and hesitant, as well as somewhat lacking in confidence. She is absolutely incandescent in the role. She effectively plays the part of Rosemary, as if she were a young woman unused to the attentions of a suitor. She is also quite funny at times, as Hal's comedic foil.
Jason Black, as Hal, is also funny, though somewhat wooden. He is obviously a comedian, rather than an actor. Still, he manages to play his part effectively, overall, though I found him to be somewhat uncharismatic. Jason Alexander plays his role a bit too over the top, almost manic, and ends up being more obnoxious, rather than funny. In the end, however, when his own personal secret comes out, it really is a hilarious moment in true Farrelly brothers fashion. The rest of the supporting cast is very good and effectively contribute to the comedic efforts of the film.
While this film emphasizes that inner beauty is what is important, it does so, however, while still making fun of fat people at their expense. When Gwyneth Paltrow asks for a slice of cake and proceeds to cut off a third of the cake for herself, the film is continuing to propagate stereotypic notions of fat people. A number of sight gags further serve to underscore this premise. This is, however, a Farrelly brothers comedy, after all, and to be expected.