This listing is for The Full Monty VHS Video Tape.
Actors: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison
Directors: Peter Cattaneo
Writers: Simon Beaufoy
Producers: Lesley Stewart, Paul Bucknor, Polly Leys, Uberto Pasolini
Number of tapes: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Run Time: 91 minutes
Just about the time you think no one is capable of making a fresh and original comedy anymore, along comes something like The Full Monty, to surprise and delight you with wit and subtlety and insight.
The story of unemployed steel workers in Sheffield, England who decide to put on a male striptease show for one night to make some money is a simple premise that is beautifully realized because of the time the film takes to build our understanding of these men and their different plights and motivations. We come to know and care for them as they come to care for each other. The comedy grows from the characters and their personalities and their different reactions and situations. There is sympathy and sensitivity to their desperation: Gaz (Robert Carlyle), the ex-con hustler, desperate to keep a connection with his son; Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), the manager, desperate to hold onto his middle-class lifestyle; Dave (Mark Addy), chubby and insecure, desperate to hold onto his wife; and so on. Expertly played by these actors, new to American audiences in 1997, but now familiar, the laughter evoked is wry and humane and, in the end, joyful.
The film carefully builds the story with expert comedic setups (the auditions and rehearsals, etc.) of everyday men trying to do something they are seemingly unequipped and ill-prepared to accomplish, with touches of pathos as we see the troubles and strains in their personal lives. All this leads to the Big Night and a grand finale that is funny, heart-warming and beautifully filmed. A terrific little film with a lot on its mind, beneath the humor. Something to do with the dignity of work, of self-respect, and of the touching care one can find amidst people undergoing hard times. A gem.
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