In 2001, the movie Shallow Hal debuted — a romantic comedy starring Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jason Alexander. In the movie, Hal Larson, played by Jack Black, was a superficial womanizer who saw only the outer beauty of a woman. After an encounter with Tony Robbins, he is hypnotized into seeing only the inner beauty of a person. People who were ugly on the inside were suddenly seen as ugly on the outside, and those he saw as physically unattractive yet who held an inner beauty were now seen as lovely individuals.
The movie’s theme plays out in typical Hollywood style with the usual twists and turns until the female and male protagonists find true love and ride off together to live happily-ever-after. I love the story and the lessons it teaches, but perhaps the message falls a little short.
In my revised version of the film, Shallow Hal would not only see the beauty and worth of individuals deemed “ugly” by society, but he would also look deeper into the soul of each individual and see the inherent worth of everyone he encountered. We are all creations of The Divine, and if for no other reason than that — we are beautiful and perfectly created in Divine likeness. Of course, my remake probably wouldn’t sell many tickets at the box office, but it would be a more accurate description of who we are.
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