The Full Monty

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The Full Monty

Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) stars as a laid-off Sheffield steelworker who devises an unusual scheme to better himself in this boisterous new comedy. Inspired by the popularity of a Chippendales appearance, Carlyle begins recruiting other unemployed men to form their own stripshow. That none of them, for various reasons, are really qualified to be taking off their clothes in public is the source for much of The Full Monty's humor—most often in the form of some very funny physical gags—but the film has much more going for it than that one obvious joke would suggest. Like this year's earlier export, Brassed Off!, The Full Monty takes a harsh look at the state of post-Thatcher labor in Britain, but goes even further by portraying some of the humiliation involved with life on the dole. Carlyle's attempts to win the respect of his young son, and some of the other men's insecurity with their bodies—a rarely touched topic—are treated sensitively and incorporated seamlessly into the story. Though it lags a bit in its second half, and its abrupt but inevitable conclusion leaves some matters unsettled, The Full Monty is a winning mix of humor and poignant character examination, and a satisfying film.