The Full Monty Movie Review
Director: Peter Cattaneo
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, Tom Wilkinson, Steve Huison, Paul Barber, Hugo Speer, William Snape, Lesley Sharp, Emily Woof, Deirdre Costello, Paul Butterworth, Dave Hill, Bruce Jones, Andrew Livingston, Vinny Dhillon, Kate Rutter
Oscar Wins: Best Original Musical Score
Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture
As the old song goes, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”
Sheffield, England. A once booming manufacturing town, Sheffield has been modernized and mechanized. Productivity is up, but the victims of automation are the blue-collar workers, many of whom are now unemployed with nothing left to do but get into mischief.
While bumming around the streets of Sheffield, Gaz (Robert Carlyle) notices flocks of women lined up for a Chippendale performance. Taking note of the tremendous crowds, Gaz gets an idea. If male strippers who don’t bare all can rake in the money, what about those who are willing to show ‘the full monty’?
In a last-ditch effort to earn some cash, Gaz and his mate Dave (Mark Addy) decide to turn in their hard hats for G-strings and go where the work is: the strip club.
Calling themselves “Hard Steel”, Gaz and his crew are anything but. Gaz wears his years of smoking and drinking well…Dave is on the heavy side and very self-conscious about his body. Horse (Paul Barber) has a bad hip, Lomper (Steve Huison) is suicidal and Guy (Hugo Speer) doesn’t know a beat from a ball change – but he makes the cut do to his, um, manhood. To top it all off, the only man who can choreograph this group of misfits is Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), a fellow unemployed foreman by day and ballroom dancer by night.
What results is a wonderfully charming comedy about overcoming adversity in spite of any perceived…shortcomings (pun intended!). While the “Hard Steel” performance is more amusing than enticing, it becomes the thing that gets these men up and out of bed in the morning. Since loosing their jobs, this little striptease provides a sense of purpose again.
Unlike other stripper films, The Full Monty throws eroticism out the window. In fact, there’s not a sexually provocative moment in the entire movie. Instead the central joke here is that there’s really nothing funnier than watching a bunch of old, non-athletic Englishmen prancing about in snap-on underwear.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (which it won), The Full Monty is one of those rare movies that tugs at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone. With big-hearted characters who experience real human emotion and fear, this a sweet story that is sure to leave you satisfied and smiling.