The Full Monty
3/4
poster

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Comedy
Year 1997
Duration 91 min
Rating 7.2 out of 10
Description: The setting is Sheffield England, once the "City of Steel", home of a massive steel industry and jobs aplenty. Today with the industry in decline and the steelworks closed down there is widespread unemployment and despair. Two unemployed friends stumble upon a Chippendales-like show that's very popular with the local women. Eventually they decide they too would like to give it a go, but they can't dance and aren't what most would call good physical specimens. They have their doubts but are determined to give it a shot. On their way they pick up four other unlikely candidates and begin practising for the big night. To drum up interest, they boast they'll go 'the full monty' (a phrase meaning 'all the way' - nude), something they hadn't planned and aren't sure they can deliver. Will they ?, won't they ?, can they keep their antics from their families ?, can they stay out of trouble ? can they pull a crowd ?. All will be revealed, well maybe.
Comments: When I first saw this movie, I absolutely loved it. With each successive viewing, I noticed the characters' emotions as they coped with the dirty hand that has been dealt to them and making the most of it. I also saw the immense bond between the men as they already shared the low-class existence and a rather bleak future but seeing nothing but an opportunity to be rich. And they were all willing to endure the humiliation in front of hundreds of people to achieve it.

Like M*A*S*H, the Full Monty shows people placed in a harrowing existence with seemingly no end in sight. Yet the laughs are sprinkled throughout nicely, and even though each man has their own personal fears to overcome, they find strength in each other, which makes the experience all the more fruitful.

The actors were absolutely top notch, particularly Robert Carlyle. I was already impressed with his performance from Trainspotting to know that he is very capable of carrying the central figure of the movie. Peter Cattaneo's direction was inspired, and he knew the right angles to use (check out the scene when the lads were auditioning new members, particularly Guy) for perfect comedic effect.

I admit that some of the sub-plots needed more fleshing out, particularly between Gaz and Nathan as well as Gerald and his wife. And as many times as I've seen the movie, I don't know much about Guy other than his love for Singing in the Rain and his obvious natural endowment that took the breath away from his mates!

The music was terrific as well. I dare anyone to deny that they had to consciously stop tapping their feet when hearing "Hot Stuff" after watching this movie.

I have been to Sheffield recently, so the movie holds even more personal meaning for me. And for all those complaining about the accents being difficult to understand, watch it again. It's in English not Chinese! The accents are part of the charm. I rate this movie a solid 8.5 out of 10 and worth seeing many times over.