UK Release date: 29th August 1997
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 28th April 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I must have avoided seeing this film for about ten years after its release. I think the reason was that it was very successful and anyway, I didn’t really want to watch a film about male strippers. Don’t worry, I’ve learnt my lesson; just because a film is successful it doesn’t mean it’s either good or bad. The subject matter is also immaterial; it’s either a good film or not; we’ve all got the right to decide for ourselves. And so to ‘The Full Monty’; I have loved this film ever since that first viewing and it will always be a favourite. As those of you that read my stuff regularly know, I’m not all that big on comedies; this is a very rare exception and I’ll tell you why after this very brief summary.
At a time of high unemployment in the city of Sheffield (England), a group of men get together in order to make some cash. Inspired by the success of the Chippendale’s, they decide to put on an act at the local working men’s club. Who are these men I hear you say; well there’s Gaz (Robert Carlyle), who’s trying to raise money to pay off his back maintenance for his son, Nathan (William Snape). Then there’s Dave (Mark Addy), who’s Gaz’s best friend; he has low self esteem and needs a boost. Next up there’s Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), who has been lying to his wife about being out of work. The others are Lomper (Steve Huison), Horse (Paul Barber) and Guy (Hugo Speer). They all have their own reasons for wanting to do it and we get to know a lot about their lives and what makes them tick. When putting out posters one day, Gaz is goaded by a couple of women; he retaliates and claims they were prepared to go all the way, to do ‘The Full Monty’. But can they deliver on his promise?
There are very few films these days that make me laugh out loud but this one managed it six or seven times! Having spent most of my adult life in the north of England, I find the humour in this one quite refreshing. It’s not all fun and games though, there is quite a lot of drama to be found here and it’s this element that gives the humour more bite. Great performances all round with (for me), Tom Wilkinson standing out, although they were all praiseworthy. Over all, a comedy set against the gritty reality of unemployment and all that brings. If, like me, you’ve been avoiding this one, don’t put it off any longer, you can thank me later!
SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.7/10.
IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 60,341 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 75/100: (Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 73/100 (based on 162,993 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Dave: [discussing possible means of suicide] Drownin'. Now there's a way to go.
Lomper: I can't swim.
Gaz: Well you don't have to fucking swim, you divvy, that's the whole point. God, you're not very keen are you?
Gerald: He's fat, you're thin, and you're both fucking ugly.
Horse: No-one said anything to me about the full monty!
Gaz: Gentlemen, the lunchbox has landed!
Horse: No, but... what I mean to say is... my willy...
Lomper: *Your* willy? *My* willy!
Gaz: I need an audience
Dave: You need a doctor!