The Full Monty

The Full Monty

***1/2

Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

It has been nearly 10 years since The Full Monty hit the screens. Since then it has become one of the most successful British films of all time and picked up a number of awards in the process. Is there anyone out there who isn't familiar with the story of a group of unemployed steelworkers trying to make ends meet by taking off their kit?

Robert Carlyle is excellent as Gaz, who needs the money in order to pay his son Nathan's maintenance. It's his relationship with Nathan (William Snape) that gives the film its heart and ensures that it never gets anywhere near being a seedy mess of cheap jokes. The other men's insecurities, about weight, penis size and being unemployed are also particularly touching and portrayed, without exception, with sublime skill.

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The Full Monty is primarily a comedy, but unfortunately it's the comedy that has been overstated by the hype. Everyone laughed the first time they saw the attempts at dancing and the pelvic thrusts in the dole queue. All these years later, and after Prince Charles has replicated one of the scenes, it elicits smiles, but little more. What always came across as a film, which would have you rolling in the aisles, is actually just a gentle comedy - heart warming and enjoyable, for sure, but not that funny.

The greatest criticism, for which director Peter Cattaneo and writer Simon Beaufoy must share the blame equally, is that the final third of the film coasts. For some people, seeing six bottoms might be enough to paper over the... umm... cracks. For others they will notice just how lackadaisical everything becomes once the characters have been established and there is only one possible conclusion. The last minute nerves feel like a cheap attempt to add an extra twist, but they don't ring true.

For anyone able to temper their expectations, The Full Monty is a largely enjoyable film. Most, however, will find that it's not quite as good as they remembered.

Reviewed on: 26 Feb 2006
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Unemployed labourers get their kits off for cash.
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Director: Peter Cattaneo

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, William Snape, Lesley Sharp, Emily Woof, Steve Huison, Paul Barber, Hugo Speer, Deirdre Costello, Bruce Jones

Year: 1997

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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