The Full Monty

Tagline : The year's most revealing comedy.

Runtime : 91 mins

Genre : Comedy

Vote Rating : 7/10

Budget : 3.5 million $ USD

Revenue : 257.9 million $ USD

Plot : Sheffield, England. Gaz, a jobless steelworker in need of quick cash persuades his mates to bare it all in a one-night-only strip show.

Cast Members

Reviews

Nobody said anything to me about The Full Monty! When male strip show act The Chippendales come to Sheffield and the local women pay in their droves to see the show, Gaz and the rest of his unemployed pals pick up on an idea to make some cash. They will do a one off show where they themselves will strip on the stage, with the difference being that this lot will go for the "Full Monty" - totally naked dancing! The Full Monty is a very winning comedy, it's preposterous in premise of course, but in amongst the frivolity and outright daftness, lies a very clever and functional tale of personal relationships. In spite of what some American reviewers have said over the years, the picture is awash with very funny gags, it's just perhaps that the untrained none British eye isn't seeing the jokes? For instance, during the famous dole queue dancing sequence, have a look at the guy standing behind Tom Wilkinson, who after witnessing Wilkinson do his Fred Astaire act, merely puffs out his cheeks and carries on waiting his turn! It's little touches like that that say so much about the divide between British and American comedy. As I alluded to earlier, The Full Monty isn't just a comedy about unsightly men doing a strip tease. We have a group of men who each strive for something in their lives, be it the strain of home life or sexual identity, these guys are given sensitive emotional themes from which to regain some dignity. If there is a criticism here, then it would have been nice to give the female characters a bit more flesh on their bones, but ultimately this really is about the boys after all. Backed up by a foot tapping soundtrack and boasting excellent performances from the cast, The Full Monty is a hugely enjoyable picture that rewards on repeat viewings. So just keep your eyes peeled for sight gags you just may have missed the last time you viewed it. 8/10

Robert Carlyle ("Gaz") and Mark Addy ("Dave") are great in this role reversal comedy set amidst Margaret Thatcher's "recalibration" of Britain's manufacturing industries and communities. Sheffield is bearing the brunt of these changes, and unemployment is rife - with little hope of any of the former steel workers escaping their new found poverty. Even the foreman "Gerald" (Tom Wilkinson) is struggling to feed his voracious population of gnomes (and his extravagant wife). Walking past their local working men's club one day, they notice that a famous troupe of male strippers are selling it out, and so they decide that there's no reason why they can't do it too! Helped by his rather sceptical young son "Nathan" (Wim Snape) the dancer recruitment process amusingly starts the ball rolling in this darkly humorous story of aspiration and sheer bloody-mindedness that takes quite a fun swipe at gender roles and stereotypes. Trying to keep their plans under wraps, they clandestinely develop and rehearse their routine with plenty of Hot Chocolate and Donna Summer to get the hips swaying and the toes tapping. It's well paced and pithily written - even if some of the language wouldn't pass any political correctness tests twenty-five years later. The characterisations are largely left to develop the story without too much familial clutter and the diverse nature of the characters offers us an enjoyable and optimistic look at what the human spirit can do when it's challenged. It packs loads into ninety minutes and it's nice to see a British film that doesn't rely on national treasures or stately homes.

**An excellent comedy, with intelligent and creative humor.** This is an interesting comedy that shows that British cinema sometimes surprises with small gems of quality. I don't know exactly how the film was received in its country of origin (it was a time when the British were in shock due to the death of Diana Spencer, ex-wife of the current King Charles III), but, in my country, the film received little attention due to the film “Titanic”, a box office phenomenon. Still, as far as I know, the film was profitable overall, and was well reviewed by critics. At the 1998 Oscars, it was nominated for four awards, but only won Best Soundtrack for a Comedy or Musical, a category that only existed for a few years. The story takes place in Sheffield, a British city famous for its steel industry, but which was greatly affected by the economic recession and the closure of many factories, similar to what happened in Detroit with the automobile industry and in Matosinhos, in my country, with canning factories. To try to earn money, six men join forces to become a group of male strippers. They have to overcome their own prejudices and then public ridicule, when everything becomes known. The film has lots of moments of intelligent, well-constructed humor, and the dialogue is quality. Contrary to what some professional critics said at the time, I thought the use of slang and specifically British words was good, as it added authenticity to the dialogue. There are also some touching moments of understanding and mutual help. The film was very well directed by Peter Cattaneo, and was edited effectively, with a sense of rhythm that allows the film to be engaging and entertaining without wasting time or dispersing into subplots that would lead to nothing. On a technical level, the film has a good set of sets and the filming locations were very well selected, but what deserves the most attention, in my opinion, is the soundtrack, which is virtually a beautiful collection of memorable hits from the 70s. and 80s, including “You Sexy Thing”, “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and other well-known songs. This luxurious soundtrack was one of the aspects that I most enjoyed about the film. Another strong point of the film is the general performance of the cast led by Robert Carlyle, a creative protagonist who gives us an inspired and spirited performance. Alongside him, we also have some great British actors such as Tom Wilkinson (in one of the best comic efforts of his career), Hugo Speer and Mark Addy. Each of them is truly good at what they do and have been given very competent material to work with.

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