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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on June 9, 2004
The Full Monty is hard to categorize. It is very funny, yet it is heart-wrenching in places, with great performances by all the actors. So let's not worry about what it is, because it will leave you laughing and smiling for days. Seeing this movie will also boost your optimism and make you charge ahead on those dreams you have had on the back burner. The funny scenes are absolutely hilarious. You will want to watch them over and over.
A motley group of unemployed British steel workers hatches a plan to be male strippers. Gaz, the main character, saw a group of Chippendales dancers pass through town on a one-time show with great success. Although his group lacks the looks and the moves, Gaz is not deterred. His primary motivation for this enterprise is to come up with child support money so he can spend time with his son.
The human interest story is what makes you root for these characters. There is strong language, a scene of attempted suicide, impotence, strong male sexuality, and a homosexual scene. The working-class accents are unbearably hard to decipher for the first fifteen minutes, but you get used to it.
The music is fantastic. This movie is so unique that I wish everyone would see it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 3, 2010
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 characters we come to know: One is a divorced dad (Robert Carlyle) who needs to raise child support money, one is an overweight and depressed husband (Mark Addy), one cares for his aging mum, and one (Tom Wilkinson) hasn't had the nerve to tell his credit card-happy wife that he's been unemployed for six months. All of the actors are perfectly cast and it's worth the price just to see the venerable Wilkinson bump and grind to "Hot Stuff."

Gritty location photography and a lively, Oscar-winning disco soundtrack help create the mood of despair giving way to hope. The North country accents and slang are sometimes unintelligible, but that in no way detracts from the fun. This fast-paced and sweet film made with a tiny budget went on to break UK box office records. Highly recommended.
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on June 9, 2004
This is an exemplarary example of the kind of wry, sociologically observant humor that the English do so well (and that we do so poorly, if ever). A brilliant and touching portrait of Sheffield, out-of-work steelworkers, the English working class, gender relations, and much more. I've seen it perhaps a dozen times, and each time I not only have laughed at the same jokes, but have also noticed some nuance that I overlooked before.
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on April 29, 2004
Without re-hashing the plot, suffice to say that this is one of the more original and accomplished feel-good films you'll ever see. The story focuses on a bunch of lovable unemployed lads in Sheffield, England, following the collapse of the local steel industry (the film opens with one of those "Progress Is Today" film-reels we all watched in elementary school and sets a perfect tone for the rest of the film). Their rallying cry: an all-male strip tease. The set-up: minimal dancing talent and a low beefcake factor.
Instead of a bunch of caricatures, "TFM" gives us a fully realized ensemble, even with some touching scenes from the women who inhabit the fringes of the film. The dense accents give the flick a delightful authenticity , and the cast has some wonderful comic timing as well as the ability to pluck the heartstrings at the right moments.
"TFM" builds from a great premise to one of the best closing scenes in recent years -- you'll either be on your feet cheering or on the floor laughing, and maybe both.
The DVD offers good sound and picture quality, but there is a notable lack of extras. Still, better a good flick and no extras than a mediocre flick and a bunch of goodies.
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on April 2, 2013
Thanks for delivering me one of my old favourites with such ease. I was worried these old classics may not be available anymore. I love that Amazon and its distributors have lots of stock and fair pricing and I don't have to leave the house. Watching this film again - the old VHS got ruined - made me laugh out loud as it used too. Thanks for facilitating laughter in the world :)
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on August 5, 2003
What a fun way to use up an evening. It is not a deep movie, it will not give you insight into British politics or humanity itself, just lots of good laughs.
We watch as 6 unemployed Yorkshire bloks work up the courage and, dare I say, the talent, to go the Full Monty after the Chppendale Dancers swagger their goods through town. Seeing this as an easy way to fatten their wallets we go through the emotions of these every day guys trying to just make it in the world when they lose their jobs, their furniture and lives when the Steel Mill they work in closes.
It is great to watchthe relationships in this movie. That between Mark Addy's character and his wife that he thinks is cheating on him, because he sees himself as to fat. Addy and Robert Carlyle as friends is fun and funny. The greatest relationship to watch is between Carlyle and the kid who plays his son Nate. All this stripping hulabaloo started as a way for Carlyle (Gaz) to repay his back child support so he can continue to see his son whom he loves very much, though he may not always be the best role model. The kid is in on some of the casting calls and helps with the music. All the characters are a shear riot to watch.
I highly recommend this film. It has a broad range to reach more than just those who enjoy British films, it is not that stuffy! great listening to and trying to decipher the dialect while keeping up witht he movie.
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on August 5, 2003
What a fun way to use up an evening. It is not a deep movie, it will not give you insight into British politics or humanity itself, just lots of good laughs.
We watch as 6 unemployed Yorkshire bloks work up the courage and, dare I say, the talent, to go the Full Monty after the Chppendale Dancers swagger their goods through town. Seeing this as an easy way to fatten their wallets we go through the emotions of these every day guys trying to just make it in the world when they lose their jobs, their furniture and lives when the Steel Mill they work in closes.
It is great to watchthe relationships in this movie. That between Mark Addy's character and his wife that he thinks is cheating on him, because he sees himself as to fat. Addy and Robert Carlyle as friends is fun and funny. The greatest relationship to watch is between Carlyle and the kid who plays his son Nate. All this stripping hulabaloo started as a way for Carlyle (Gaz) to repay his back child support so he can continue to see his son whom he loves very much, though he may not always be the best role model. The kid is in on some of the casting calls and helps with the music. All the characters are a shear riot to watch.
I highly recommend this film. It has a broad range to reach more than just those who enjoy British films, it is not that stuffy! great listening to and trying to decipher the dialect while keeping up witht he movie.
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on January 17, 2003
This movie was surprisingly funny! I originally thought that this one wouldn't be good just on the basis of it's plot but in the end, this movie delivers a lot of laughs and for the ladies, some great male stripping that's really funny.
It starts out with 2 friends, Gazzer and Dave. Both are recently laid off steel mill workers and are looking for work. After they get turned away from their favorite bar because of an all ladies Chippendale performance, Gazzer gets a great idea, "what if we were strippers? We'd make a lot of money". Just one problem, there's only 2 of them and they can't dance. After holding some open tryouts, they find some other guys they used to work with that want to do this as well, including their former foreman that's also unemployed. While working on their routine, Gazzer realizes that they have to do something special, they have to do THE FULL MONTY (be completely naked). Now it's a question of who's still in it.
O.k. even though I'm a guy, I still laughed at this one because it's still pretty funny. The guys are really funny, the music and soundtrack is great (a lot of great hits from the 70's) and just because the guys are the most unlikely strippers is pretty funny. That and this movie took a lighthearted look on some very serious topics like suicide, divorce, homosexuality, unemployment and even the difficulty of being overweight. You'd be surprised, but this movie might hit somewhere with some people.
Ladies will definitely get a kick out of this one and even the guys can take a laugh out of this. And for any of you guys plotting to do your own type of Chippendales thing, here's an instructional video for you = ) In any case, this is an enjoyable movie. And who could forget the "fun with Garden Gnomes" scene? That scene alone is hilarious. Anyway, check out THE FULL MONTY and if you're looking for another good International movie, check out WAKING NED DEVINE, CHOCOLAT and this is a good one from Japan, TAMPOPO. Enjoy!
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on September 2, 2002
This film has some moments of hilarity that will make you laugh until you cry; but it also has moments that will cause some reflection. And in the end, it's actually somewhat gentle fare, considering the subject matter, which on the surface may seem wont to lend itself to a much coarser interpretation. Rest assured, however, "The Full Monty," directed by Peter Cattaneo, is a fun-filled excursion that skirts some serious issues while warmly embracing the more humorous aspects of the human condition. It's a telling study of desperation without the misery, of loss without the moroseness, and finally it's an upbeat, uplifting tale of pursuing possibilities, and what it means to reach for the rainbow in the wake of the storm.
The film opens with a clip that could've been prepared by any local chamber of commerce, touting the city of Sheffield, England, as a growing concern in the industrial market, a veritable city on the move. The story then quickly jumps ahead twenty-five years, and we find that the once booming steel business has been quieted, the mill closed down indefinitely. Which means, of course, that many able bodied workers are out of a job, and their prospects for the future are less than bleak. Among those forced to go on the dole are Gaz Schofield (Robert Carlyle) and his friend, Dave (Mark Addy), whose lives become especially complicated by their current status of "unemployed." Unable to make child support payments, Gaz is about to lose visitation rights with his son, Nathan (William Snape), and losing his job has left Dave emasculated, leading to problems with his wife, Jean (Lesley Sharp).
Then one night the "Chippendales" show arrives in town, and for the "ladies only" performance, the local venue is sold out, at ten quid a head. And after having a quick peek at the dancers for himself, inspiration suddenly strikes Gaz, who figures if a bunch of "puffers" like the Chippendales can cause such a stir, why not some local talent? Like himself, Dave, and whoever else he can get to jump on the bandwagon with him. The kicker is, Gaz knows that they're going to have to go the Chippendales one up; and that means going "The Full Monty." If they're going to pack 'em in, they're going to have to go all the way...
Peter Cattaneo is to be commended for handling so sensitive a subject and the accompanying issues with such warmth and humor. Let's face it, a story about a bunch of guys who resort to "stripping" in order to survive could have gone in an entirely different direction. But thanks to the insights of Cattaneo and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, the result is a film that reaches out and touches the humanity in us all. The characters are all richly drawn and delivered by Cattaneo through his actors with great care. These are very real people with whom anyone past the age of majority will be able to identify, in one way or another. And that's what really sells the film. Cattaneo keeps it all very real and down-to-earth, sets an effective pace and backs it all up with a terrific soundtrack of contemporary music. Who will be able to come away from this film NOT at least humming Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing," or thinking about the scene in which "Horse" (Paul Barber) "auditions" to Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances?" Or when the guys, after having rehearsed for awhile, are on line at the employment office when Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" comes on and they can't keep still. Cattaneo takes a positive approach to negative issues, wraps it all up in humility, humanity and hard work, and in doing so he gives his audience a film that is highly entertaining, emotionally involving and unforgettable.
Heading up the ensemble cast, Robert Carlyle is right on with his portrayal of Gaz. He completely captures the blue collar, working class image and attitude that defines his character so succinctly. And he convincingly conveys the fact that he doesn't know one "beat" from another, as evidenced by the way he is "always ahead" of the rest, regardless of which piece of music they're dancing to.
Mark Addy captures the essence of who these guys are, as well, giving a memorable performance as Dave. His is an extremely sensitive portrayal of of a man dealing with some very personal problems, which he addresses through his character quite believably. And, in Dave's case, especially, Addy manages to elicit empathy without making him unduly sympathetic, which affords him, as well as the others and the film, the ability to maintain a semblance of dignity in the face of adversity, which is essentially one of the main tenets of the story.
Also turning in an effective performance is Tom Wilkinson as Gerald, the former foreman of the steel mill, now reduced to being just one of the guys, and on the dole along with the rest of them. Wilkinson brings to light the fact that Gerald's issues are somewhat different from the rest initially, but he gradually develops his character to the extent that you finally understand that Gerald is not so different from Gaz or Dave or the others after all. And it's Wilkinson's insightful portrayal that more than any of the others cements that sense of community which is, in the end, the great equalizer of the species.
The supporting cast includes Steve Huison (Lomper), Hugo Speer (Guy), Emily Woof (Mandy), Deirdre Costello (Linda), Paul Butterworth (Barry), Dave Hill (Alan) and Bruce Jones (Reg). In reality, losing one's means of survival can be a devastating experience. And what Cattaneo has done with "The Full Monty" is establish a sense of hope for those who may find themselves one day in the "outbox" of life, and he's done it with style, class and that most necessary of all of life's ingredients, humor. This is a film to embrace-- and to enjoy over and over again.
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on July 10, 2002
I had a hard time convincing a friend of mine, one of the biggest film buffs of all time, to watch this movie. Being a red-blooded American male he said he had no desire to "see a bunch of men stripping." This is so far from the core and truth of this movie. To me, the Full Monty is about regaining pride and dignity and a sense of self when one has been robbed of one's livelihood. The movie would be even more timely today, in the wake of the felling of corporate giants and the transplanting of manufacturing to other countries. It shows the pervasive nature of unemployment; how it wrecks one's relationships and takes a toll on one's energy and psyche. It answers questions close to all men's hearts: Is a man a man without a job? Can a man separate his working self from his romantic and other selves? If one has been a boss, a leader, are those qualities still there when one is no longer in charge? When the beauracratic labels have been stripped away, can the men be friends?
Lest I make this sound too serious, take it from me that this movie strikes a very loving and warmhearted, goofy tone, and as everyone says, the sound track propels the viewer into a state of euphoria that lasts throughout the movie. I thought when I first saw it that I'd remember it only as that year's sleeper, but years later it remains one of my favorite movies. See it and enjoy it. Don't be put off (or too excited by) the stripping angle-you won't see much bare skin, only bare, honest emotions.
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