The Full Monty Goes All the Way
The Full Monty (1997)
Dir. Peter Cattaneo
Starring. Robert Carlysle, Mark Addy and Tom Wilkinson
The Full Monty is one of those movies you either get or don’t get. Two of my siblings don’t like it, don’t think it’s funny and don’t get the point. My other sibling does. Perhaps the reason two of my siblings don’t enjoy it is because I may have built the film up too much. I’ll try not to do that here.
The basic plot of the film is six unemployed steel workers in Sheffield, England need a way to make some quick money. After seeing an advertisement for a Chippendales show and seeing the women flock to the show and hand out gobs of money, Gaz (Robert Carlysle: Trainspotting, 24:Redemption) decides to make money as a male stripper to help make up the child support payments he’s behind on. Enlisting the help of his best friend, Dave (Mark Addy: Hot Fuzz, Sean of the Dead) and his former foreman (Tom Wilkison: That older British Guy that everyone always says they ‘love’ but can never remember his name or other movies he’s been in), they hold open try outs for local male dancers. Eventually Gaz reveals (pardon the pun) that he intends for his dance troupe to go the full monty: Complete nudity!
Now, I would not normally want to watch a film about male strippers since I am not attracted to men and don’t want to see their bums or junk in my face, but there’s something charming about the Full Monty. More of a dramedy then a pure comedy, it has many moments of tenderness (Gaz with his son, Nathe, Dave with his wife, Jean) and I find myself rooting for the characters in the film.
I don't want to spoil the review with too much specificity, but the scene where the dancers are in line at the unemployment office and begin dancing to Hot Stuff by Donna Summer is one of the funniest scenes in modern film, due to the subtle and unassuming way that the scene transpires.
Being a British film, and me being an American, the slang of the film is amusing to me, though not fit for print on this site. It’s got the subtle comedy of many British films, but also the tender drama of classic cinema. The subject matter is handled with more grace and dignity then one would expect and the only crassness comes from the language the characters use, not from the subject matter.
The film has since been rewritten as a stage musical.
I have no complaints about this film but recommend you watch it with subtitles, as the characters have very strong cockney accents that are hard to understand sometimes.