Early 2000s rom-coms are having a moment as Jack Black’s 2001 comedy Shallow Hal just broke into the top 10 on Hulu. The Farrelly Brothers’ film features a cast that also includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Alexander, Joe Viterelli, Tony Robbins, and Susan Ward. If you’re looking for a romantic comedy to throw on this weekend, you could certainly do worse than this one.
In 2000, Jack Black broke onto the Hollywood scene with his role in High Fidelity and he quickly nabbed his first role as a leading man in Shallow Hal afterward. The film follows Black as a shallow man who is hypnotized into only seeing someone’s inner beauty, causing him to fall in love with a 300-pound woman. The film saw the directing and writing duo of the Farrelly Brothers attempt something a bit more sentimental, which caused many reviewers to criticize the film for being less edgy than their previous efforts.
Despite the critical consensus being less than favorable, the film was pretty popular upon its release, pulling in an impressive $141 million against a $40 million budget. The charming performances from Jack Black and Gwenyth Paltrow certainly helped Shallow Hal‘s popularity, and it’s a big reason the movie is still popular to this day. While it’s not groundbreaking by any means and many would say the Farrellys have made better movies, it’s still fairly solid.
Jack Black went on to become a massive star after his one-two punch of High Fidelity and Shallow Hal in the early 2000s. He would go on to star in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, the Jumanji reboot, and have other massive comedy hits like School of Rock and Nacho Libre. 2001 also happened to be the year that Black released his first studio album with Kyle Gass as the Grammy-winning duo Tenacious D.
For now, watching Jack Black in Shallow Hal should hold us over until his next big movie role — when he voices Bowser in The Super Mario Bros Movie. Although Chris Pratt has been criticized for his performance as Mario, there’s almost no one that has a problem with Jack’s Bowser voice. Fans have quickly decided that Black is one of the best things about the upcoming Mario movie and are looking forward to hearing more from him when the film releases on April 7, 2023.
While Jack Black has plenty of amazing live-action roles like Shallow Hal, it’s safe to say that sometimes Black does his best work in the world of animation. That must be why fans are also hyped for Black to reprise one of his best roles as Po in the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 4. Dreamworks Animation confirmed that a fourth film is in the works earlier this year and that it’s slated for release on March 8, 2024.
It’s definitely exciting to hear Jack Black give his all in these major animated movies, but it’s also good to go back to his humbler beginnings and see his live-action chops as well. If you’ve missed seeing Jack Black on the big screen, go ahead and give Shallow Hal a try this weekend. The film is now available to stream on Hulu if you’re interested.