Hugely popular at the time of its release, The Full Monty is a mainstream British comedy with a sexy twist. It’s one of those feel-good comedies about ordinary people daring to reach for the stars. Or, in this case, to reach for their crotch. We will be following six unemployed workers who decide to form a striptease group. Can a single but highly charged and powerful concept carry a movie for ninety minutes? Ancient striptease theorists say the answer is a resounding yes and point to this fucking movie as proof. Joking aside, the script cleverly weaves in elements from both English social realism and mainstream comedies from the eighties.
Although this is a movie about male strippers, you can watch it with your whole family and have a laugh. I can only imagine the number of nudges wives gave their husbands while they were watching these ordinary men do some extraordinary things. And I can also only imagine the number of tummy rubs in the bathroom men were doing actually thinking what would be like if they went for it. It’s all about niches and specific kinks these days so I don’t doubt that an average-looking striptease group could generate a few bob. Hell, if Chippendales could do it, so could you!
Speaking of them, check out a really fun miniseries Welcome to Chippendales starring Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Murray Bartlett (White Lotus). It’s full of bizarre twists, murders, drugs, and other fun things. The cast of The Full Monty led by charismatic Robert Carlyle was simply sublime. We’ve also got Mark Addy and Tom Wilkinson but I think that everybody here did a terrific job. The way they portrayed a plethora of emotions these characters went through really brought them to life. By the time the movie is over, you’ll feel like you know them all. Hell, maybe you’ll even recognize yourself in some of them.
Gaz is just one of many middle-aged guys who find themselves without a job during a difficult time. With the industry slowly dying in small British towns, employment is scarce and money even scarcer. However, Gaz saw something that might just change that. He saw a male stripping group made a lot of money for doing a rather short show. So, he hatches a brilliant plan…
For a mainstream feel-good British comedy, The Full Monty explores a surprising range of issues. We’ve got not only the class struggle, unemployment, and all the crap that comes with it but also body image perceptions and classic male egos on display here. The stark difference between male and female nudity is also a thought-provoking subject. And I bet that this movie generated a lot of healthy discussions between married couples. However, you should not think that this is an overly complicated movie. You can enjoy it on a surface level as well and not get bogged down in any of the other stuff.
The pacing is very deliberate and the movie builds tension and expectations expertly. You will have to wait till the very end to see the goods so to speak. People all over the world recognized this quality and the movie went on to make a whopping $250 million against a $3.5 million budget. And I consider it far superior to the other male stripping movies like Magic Mike. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like The Full Monty, check out Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nuns on the Run, and Fierce Creatures.
Director: Peter Cattaneo
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Wim Snape, Paul Barber, Steve Huison
Fun Facts: The Full Monty won an Academy Award for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score although it was nominated in several others.