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The Full Monty (1997)
Rated R

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, and Mark Addy

Rating:
****
out of
*****

Gaz (Robert Carlyle) is a wily, unemployed steelworker in Sheffield, a once-thriving British city which has now been reduced to a shadow of its former self. When the Chippendale male dancers arrive at the local pub for an engagement, Gaz gets the idea of putting together his own troupe of strippers to end the financial woes that have been plaguing him since he lost his job.

Of course, his strippers are hardly in the same class as the Chippendale dancers. He assembles a rag tag bunch of former steelworkers that include Guy, who's got the proper equipment for the job, and Horse, an older man with a bad hip. But of course, they've got to learn to dance to make the show a success, so they wrangle their former boss, Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), who's a bit of a dancer, to teach them how to move on stage.

The movie is loaded with British quips and slang, but it also has a bit of an emotional side. Gaz needs money to see his son, Nathan (William Snape). Gerald hasn't told his wife that he doesn't have a job and when she finds out, she leaves him. Dave (Mark Addy) has a bit of a weight problem and doubts that anyone wants to see him naked, including his own wife.

But the trials and tribulations of assembling the strip show and the humor associated with it turn this movie into a classic of dialogue-based humor. The movie was nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards and, while it's very funny, I don't know if that honor was deserved or not. The story is the weak link in the chain, but it's far from being a bad story or poorly written.

So, if you're looking for a movie that will definitely get you laughing, rent The Full Monty.

Trivia: The title is a British slang phrase meaning "the whole thing." According to screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, US studio executives found it perplexing since nobody in the film is named Monty. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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