*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When male strip show act, The Chippendales, come to Sheffield and the local women pay in their droves to see the show, Gaz and the rest of his unemployed pals pick up on an idea to make some cash. A one off show where they themselves will strip on the stage, the difference being that this lot will go for the "Full Monty", totally naked dancing!
The Full Monty is a very winning comedy, it's preposterous in premise of course, but in amongst the frivolity and outright daftness, lies a very clever, and functional tale of personal relationships. In spite of what some American reviewers have said over the years, the picture is awash with very funny gags, it's just perhaps that the untrained none British eye isn't seeing the jokes? For instance, during the famous dole queue dancing sequence, have a look at the guy standing behind Tom Wilkinson, who after witnessing Wilkinson do his Fred Astaire act, merely puffs out his cheeks and carries on waiting his turn! It's little touches like that that say so much about the divide between British and American comedy.
As I alluded to earlier, The Full Monty isn't just a comedy about unsightly men doing a strip tease. We have a group of men who each strive for something in their lives, be it strains at home or sexual identity, these guys are given sensitive emotional themes from which to regain some dignity. If there is a criticism here then it would have been nice to give the female characters a bit more flesh on their bones, but this really is about the boys after all. Backed up by a foot tapping soundtrack and boasting excellent performances from the cast, The Full Monty is a hugely enjoyable picture that rewards on repeat viewings, just keep your eyes peeled for sight gags you may have missed the last time is all. 8/10