The Full Monty Review (15 years later!)

I would never have thought of watching this film. It wouldn’t have been allowed in my house. Still wouldn’t, in fact. But Saturday past, perhaps a little hung over and very sleep deprived after a very fun night with visitors in Belfast. M and me found ourselves watching tv and making some chicken and chips, even poured a wee shandy, sharing a can of carlsberg and filling up my plastic wine glasses. It was probably our last proper night staying in my student flat. It was one of those really nice cosy happy nights that you know you will look back on with happiness. First we watched Sister Act, and laughed a lot. ‘Gimme some of that deep shoulder action!’

Then The Full Monty was on. Why not, eh? I don’t know what I expected. Some kind of seedy, sexy show that we would poke fun at, I suppose. Neither of us had watched it before.It’s obviously a widely misrepresented film!

It’s a very great comedy with lots of heart. All the men who take part in the Chippendale style show have been laid off and really need money for their self-esteem and one thing and another. Their relationships are suffering. Wikipedia tells us:

The film is set in Sheffield, England, and it tells the story of six unemployed men, four of them former steel workers, who decide to form a male striptease act (Γ  la Chippendale dancers) in order to gather enough money to get somewhere else and for main character, Gaz, to be able to see his son. Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they will go “the full monty” β€” strip all the way β€” hence the film’s title. Despite being a comedy, the film also touches on serious subjects such as unemployment, fathers’ rights, depression, impotence, homosexuality, obesity, working class culture and suicide. The film was rated a 15 in Britain for frequent strong language.

There’s actually no filth at all. Gaz is a wonderful protagonist. He is at risk of losing custody of his son. His young son Nathan becomes involved in helping set up the team of male strippers, and it’s somehow not inappropriate. It works really well. He is earnest and you really care about his storyThere’s a scene where ‘Lopper’ is saved from suicide, and his face when Dave says he is their friend! Also overweight Dave’s plight and his eventual encouragement from his wife are truly heart warming. I really like Tom Wilkinson the actor, he plays Gerald, the ex-manager of the steel works, who is initially bitter and angry and is lying to his wife about losing his job. (He plays Dr. Howard in my favourite film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.)

Anyway, it really is worth a watch, it’s a good clean comedy despite the connotations,(and I suppose the last few minutes) laugh out loud funny yet with plenty of love and heart-warming obstacle overcoming.


Author: Fiona

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