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The Full Monty

A movie directed by Peter Cattaneo

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Just this once, let's go the Full Monty

  • Sep 22, 2006
Pros: Story line, music and of course, the Monty

Cons: English slang

The Bottom Line: "You give me reason to live.
You can leave your hat on!"
Tom Jones

The basic story line is great in this movie - a half dozen men, out of work, decide to go where no man has gone before - The Full Monty.

The ring leader of this doubtful group of strippers is Gaz. A bit of a showoff, someone that likes to be in the limelight, he has enough charisma and edgy good looks to actually make this work. Through his constant cajoling he manages to talk this rag-tag bunch of guys to go for it, and go for it they do.

There are plenty of side stories worked through the movie as well. Gaz is divorced and since he is out of work, unable to pay his child support. His wife, with her cheeky new husband, is trying to stop visitation between Gaz and his son. While in some cases this might be a good thing, since Gaz seems to get his boy involved in the most unlikely and compromising situations, there is still a deep love between these two.

Then there is Dave. A little overweight but loveable, he tries every thing he can to keep his wife happy, and in the dark about his new enterprise. When she discovers the truth, she is his strongest supporter.

Gerald on the other hand keeps his wife totally in the dark, both about his new enterprise and the fact that he has been out of work for six months. All the while his fear is that she is “out there, with her MasterCard, spending like mad”. When every thing he owns is repossessed, he is forced to admit the truth to her, with dire consequences.

Two other notable participants in the dance are Nathan and Lomper. Nathan is an attractive man, a do-it-yourselfer by trade, and he had remodeled Gerald’s kitchen, back when money wasn’t an issue. This made for some interesting conflicts when he came for tryouts for the dance group. Lomper, on the other hand, is a milquetoast type of guy who lives at home with his ailing mother and plays in the Salvation Army band.

And let’s not forget Horse. Well, the name tells is all.

So they meet, and practice, and form a strange bond that will come together on the stage, that one fateful night.

The characters were perfectly cast for this movie. Gaz was played by Robert Carlyle. A firey little ball of energy, always up to no good. He seemed to bring a bit of playful attitude to the group and still was able to show a soft side with his son.

Mark Addy was wonderful in the part of Dave. In a pitiful sort of way he was the most endearing. Who hasn’t had a few extra pounds they just can’t seem to shed? His interaction with the group as a whole, and with Gaz on a personal level added a good deal to the movie.

Gerald was played by Tom Wilkinson. You would more expect him to be spouting Shakespeare than flinging his G-String into the air. His staid composure and proper ways was a perfect compliment to the group.

William Snape played Nathan and Steve Huison was Lomper. What an interesting and diverse pair these two were, both highly unlikely to be in this situation.

Horse was played by Paul Barber. He was feisty for an older guy and the right finish to this group..

Overall the movie won over 20 awards, including an Oscar. It also won an award for choreography, a feat in itself with this group. It was nominated for a bazillion others.

For your information, the group actually did perform their gig, live before an audience for the filming of this movie. I think they should have gotten an award just for that.

Naturally my favorite scene is the ending and the outstanding piece of music chosen for this performance. Tom Jones belts out “You Can Leave Your Hat On” while the crowd cheers the guys to take their hats off. Another great scene is the piece where they are all standing in the unemployment line and “Hot Chocolate” comes on over the speakers. The men unconsciously go into their dance which draws a few looks of surprise.

Overall it is a great film. Not porn, not even soft porn. No more than Calendar Girls would be later on, also featuring an unlikely group of strippers.

The Full Monty, at this time, holds the record for the highest grossing film from Britain, over $256 million. Incredible for a bunch of bumbling wannabe Chippendales. It was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Peter Cattaneo. You really do owe it to yourself to enjoy this hilarious comedy.



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More The Full Monty reviews
review by . September 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Six men who were laid off when their Yorkshire steel mill closed are desperate for money. When a one-night Chippendales show comes to town and is a big hit, they decide to make their own strip show, and to make it more interesting, they'll go completely nude! The men are neither big and buff nor good dancers, but they put their hearts into preparing for the big night.      This absolutely charming comedy has many touching moments, thanks to the well-developed and sympathetic …
review by . January 28, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
There are now people who use the phrase `the full monty' who have never heard of, much less seen this witty, low-key film. The expression means `to do something completely and without reserve'. It originates in the story line: a group of recently-unemployed men in sooty olde England decide to form a Chippendales style dance troupe. Their plan, at the end of their act, is to remove the last velcroed jock-strap and expose `the full monty'.   The story line is crowded with the usual film …
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In hopes of raising a few quid after their steel factory shuts down, a desperate group of working-class blokes in Sheffield decide to form an exotic male dance troupe, a la Chippendales, with one difference--despite their, well, average-at-best physiques, they're going to go "the full monty," meaning they'll offer their audience total nudity. Surprisingly bittersweet moments and well-intentioned social commentary imbue this raucous, feel-good comedy from England. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score. Academy Award: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score.

A group of unemployed Yorkshire steelworkers hopes to replenish their empty wallets and boost their flagging morale by following in the footsteps of the Chippendale's strippers. These guys are hardly what you would think of as buff, and few can even dance. They simply take these problems in stride, because these are men with a plan--displaced, unemployed, and feeling suffocated by the women in their lives, they just want to earn a little respect. The dialogue and interaction between these men will have you screeching with laughter, but of equal importance is their sense of camaraderie and caring. First-time director Peter Cattaneo is a name to watch for; he easily conveys the sheer humanity of these people in their small town with their sad stories and irresistible sense of optimism.--Rochelle ...
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