The Full Monty

The year's most revealing comedy.

91 min     6.99     1997     United Kingdom


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.


John Chard wrote:
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
CinemaSerf wrote:
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.