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The Full Monty

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Full Monty

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy
Director: Peter Cattaneo
Rated: R
RunTime: 91 Minutes
Release Date: August 1997
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Paul Barber, Steve Huison, William Snape, Hugo Speer, Tom Wilkinson

Review by Walter Frith
3½ stars out of 4

It's a tired statement but it sticks. 1997 has been such a bad year involving big budget films that have fallen flat on their faces that an entertaining film made for scale such as 'The Full Monty' is a certified comedy gem with some important dramatic overtones. What is so striking about this film is that it's nothing like you would excpect. It's about male strippers but contains absolutely nothing of a sexually provocative nature.

Set in England, it's basically about six men who find work as exotic dancers and the story builds to the climactic scene which asks 'Will they or won't they'? Take it all off, that is. It centres primarily on three leads, Robert Carlyle (Begbie from 'Trainspotting') Tom Wilkinson ('Priest') and Mark Addy. The three of them used to work together in the steel industry but are now unemployed looking to improve their lives. What's interesting is that Carlyle and Addy are best friends and Wilkinson used to be their boss so they now must come to terms that they're all in the same boat sometimes rocking it a little too hard.

The comedy is leisurely presented and the movie contains the type of shrewd wit often desired but hardly ever seen. The rehearsal scenes in preparation for the big show are hilarious as the men don't have an ounce of go-go ability and the physical comedy is presented perfectly as a well timed string of gags. But along the way 'The Full Monty' does more than that. It also combines the main story with some touching moments of reality involving Carlyle's struggle in presenting himself as a role model to his young son who finds the growing pains in a life of borderline poverty more than a struggle.

Director Peter Cattaneo illustrates his movie by slowly drawing the audience in to a film which has excellent character development, medium pacing and a genuinely good nature to it. See it with friends. It is an audience picture that like a good television sitcom, sells better with a natural laugh track.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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