Starring: Robert Carlisle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy
Director: Peter Cattaneo
Running Time: 91 mins
The Full Monty is a British film about a group of out-of-work men from Sheffield who decide to set up a male striptease act in order to make some money.
A classic of modern British cinema, The Full Monty is a fantastic mix of tongue-in-cheek humour, salt-of-the-earth characters and uplifting, feel-good drama. It may not be the most emotionally resonant watch, but it is certainly an enjoyable, energetic film throughout, brought to life by a dynamic screenplay and a whole host of brilliant performances.
There’s a lot to love about The Full Monty, but it’s the film’s spirit that really makes it such a joy. On the one hand, it delights with a brilliant brand of tongue-in-cheek yet brilliantly honest humour.
Following the story of a group of men – most of whom formerly worked as steel workers – setting up their own male striptease act, there’s a great deal of self-deprecating, sarcastic humour working as we watch a group of ‘hard’ men go in completely the opposite direction, yet only grow closer and more enthusiastic the further they go.
On the other hand, the film delivers genuine, heartfelt drama that’s both inspiring and sobering throughout. It’s a feel-good film that sees a group of men developing a unique bond as they go out of their comfort zone, but it’s also a sobering drama as it addresses issues of unemployment, broken families and masculine identity.
That all makes it sound a bit serious, but rest assured that the film is full of laughs, feel-good fun and tongue-in-cheek humour. But it’s that little extra depth that makes it an engaging watch all the way through, even if it doesn’t quite hit home on a deeper emotional level.
Finally, the cast is fantastic. In the lead role, Robert Carlisle is hugely charismatic, blending a fiery character with a down-to-earth, honest performance, while supporting players Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy and more all add to the central group’s delightful dynamic.
Couple that with their enthusiasm in dancing and getting their kit off, and The Full Monty is the perfect piece of ensemble entertainment, with an enjoyably racy soundtrack as the cherry on top of the cake.
Overall, I had a whale of a time with The Full Monty. It’s a classic of British cinema for good reason, with clever tongue-in-cheek humour that provides big laughs while retaining honest sentiment throughout.
Bolstered by a fantastic lead cast and a great soundtrack, the film is a hugely entertaining watch, with engaging and genuine dramatic depth lending a more captivating edge to a feel-good story. And that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.