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Shallow Hal



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

A man on his deathbed imparts "pearls of wisdom" about women to his young son: look for beauty over anything else. This advice causes the boy to grow up to be a shallow and judgmental man (Jack Black) who is unable to succeed in romance or his professional life. By a stroke of fate he is trapped in an elevator with guru Tony Robbins (playing himself) who hypnotizes him to only see the inner beauty in everyone. When he meets a very obese but kind woman (Gwyneth Paltrow), in his eyes she's gorgeous. Also with Jason Alexander, Joe Viterelli and Susan Ward. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man waits for a woman in bed (he's bare-chested) and she appears in a transparent slip with bra and panties underneath; she begins to do a striptease for him and we see her bare buttocks (she wears a thong) and her bare back when she removes her bra. A man pulls down his pants and shows a nub of a vestigial tail wagging. A couple lies in bed presumably after having had sex and they kiss; the man is bare-chested. A man and woman kiss a few times; one time he has his hands on her buttocks, one time we see the man's tongue probing the woman's mouth. Men and woman are shown dancing suggestively in a few nightclub scenes; the women wear tight-fitting clothing which exposes bare backs, shoulders, midriffs, cleavage and thighs. We see a woman's panties a couple of times as she tries to get up off the floor, a woman wears a knit top which shows the outline of her nipples, a couple of women wear bikinis, a woman wears tiny shorts exposing some of her buttocks. A man takes off his pants and sits in his boxer shorts. Two men spend most of their time trying to pick up women using suggestive remarks and advances. There is sexual innuendo: Examples include men saying "that's not all she'll be getting," "I could squeeze them" (referring to a woman's breasts), "at your cervix," "that's a pair of panties I recognize," etc. There's a reference to the surprise in "The Crying Game," there are repeated references to women's physical attributes, a woman propositions a man, and men repeatedly ogle and make suggestive remarks to and about women. We see a man dressed like a woman.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - We see a man dying in a hospital bed attached to life support machines and his young son watches him die. We see a little girl with a badly scarred face and scalp from a burn. A man threatens a man and waves a cane at him. A bench breaks out from under a woman while she sits on it and the same thing happens with a chair causing her to fall hard to the floor. A boy sits in a tree after being thrown out of a pool by a big splash, a man puts his hand on a man's head and yells, startling him, a woman suffers from brain freeze after drinking a milkshake too quickly. A man suggests that a woman should file down her toes. Two men make fun of a woman's size and people glare at her repeatedly. A man puts huge globs of Vaseline on his eyes pretending to have an eye infection. One female character looks cadaverous, with wrinkles and gray skin.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 12 scatological terms, 5 sexual references, 19 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, 6 insults, 11 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, beauty, being judgmental and self-righteous, fear of getting close to someone, disabilities, altered perceptions, abnormalities, integrity, transvestites, confidence.

MESSAGE - True beauty is on the inside.

(Note: It can be construed that the film is making fun of people with disabilities or those who don't fit into our perception of "normal" but, in the end, all of the characters are "seen" as the beautiful people they really are.)

Special Keywords: S5 - V3 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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