Plot: What’s it about?
When money is short and times are tough, people sometimes take any job they can get. But what if there are no jobs? This is the dilemma that the group of working class men in The Fully Monty face. While walking around one day, they stumble upon a gentlemen’s club, but inside is not the usual strippers, but male exotic dancers! Convinced that he can do this and make some money, Gaz (Robert Carlyle) starts to training, and elicits the help of his best mate Dave (Mark Addy). Along with their former boss Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), they start a talent search, looking for regular guys like themselves to join in the dance number with them. Desperate for money, many try out, but only the few actually get chosen. Horse (Paul Barber) is the dance machine of the group, Guy (Hugo Speer) is the stud of the dance troupe, and Lomper (Steve Huison) is…well…there. Each man his own set of issues to deal with, ranging from self confidence to eviction to losing custody of a child, but they try to put it all aside for one night, and go the full monty, totally nude on stage! But with pressure bearing down on each of them, can they all make it to the club to dance, and even if they do, will anyone be there to watch?
The Full Monty is a classic comedy, where the things most associated with women are applied to men. Out of work, needing money, the only option to strip. This does not sound like a male scenario, does it? But these men do what they have to do, and the humor lies in how they deal with it. Concerned with their appearances, from weight issues to measuring up, these men worry about the things we often only hear women fret about. It’s a nice change in this movie, to see the men put on the spot, giving the ladies a movie off. The characters in this film are very likable, as they are totally believable as your average Joes, trying to make ends meet whichever way they can. It’s this regular guy feel that allows the characters to bond with the audience, as it could be any one of us up on that stage. The movie also does something good in reinforcing the fact that there is not one set type of look that is the best. The sheer volume of people who want these guys prove that. People of all sizes, shapes, and looks are attractive, not just the muscle bound guys or the rail thin girls with implants. While the movie is comedic in tone, it also gets across a rather serious, but welcome, message that we’re all beautiful, each in our own way. I can’t believe I wrote that, but hey, I’m a weird guy.
The cast of The Full Monty is spectacular, with great character acting and even better dance moves! Leading the cast is Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The World Is Not Enough, Ravenous) who plays Gaz, the man who gets this whole strip talk going, in an effort to win back his ex-wife and be able to see his child. A long cry from his role as Begbie in Trainspotting, Carlyle plays a nice guy in The Full Monty, just trying to keep his family together anyway he can. The rest of the dance troupe is great as well, with Tom Wilkinson (Shakespeare in Love, Rush Hour), Hugo Speer (The Drew Carey Show), Mark Addy (Jack Frost), Steve Huison (When Saturday Comes), and Paul Barber (The Long Good Friday). It’s interesting to note that a great number of these guys starred together in Priest, if it’s worth anything. A great cast that delivers on every account in this film. I know I got a little serious in the paragraph above, but that’s just because I tend to analyze. This movie is wall to wall hilarity, so if you’re in the mood for a good laugh, pick it up.
As Fox is noted for having spotty at best support for anamorphic enhancement, The Full Monty is not 16X9 enhanced. That being said, Fox is also known for some knock out non anamorphic transfers, and The Full Monty is just that! Vibrant and rich colors, perfect black levels, and a damage-free print, what more do you want from a comedy like this? No compression errors can be found, and the picture is very sharp, another great transfer from Fox here.
Video: How does it look?
Being a dialogue driven comedy, this is not the disc to impress your friends with at home. The soundtrack is very good, and sounds even better, but the movie focuses on dialogue for the most part. The dialogue is well done, easily audible at all times, never outdone by the music or sound effects. [Editor’s Note: It’s interesting how the old laserdisc was in Dolby Digital 5.1 and the DVD is in Dolby Surround (Pro-Logic)]
Audio: How does it sound?
It’s feast or famine with Fox and their supplements, and The Full Monty is starving in the extras section. You get the original theatrical trailer, and that’s all. Now, I won’t say anything, because I love trailers, but…all right, I’m gonna say something anyway. I want a commentary for this disc! Fox, if you are reading this, I will buy a collector’s edition if you make one! I beg you!
Supplements: What are the extras?
Warner isn’t really into remastering their titles (unless they break laws like “Devil’s Advocate”), but if they would do a special edition of one, this should be it. This movie is in my top five easy. I’d love to see a special edition of a movie of this caliber, instead of it’s “sequal” U.S. Marshals. Still, Production Notes and Cast Bios make the disc a little more interesting.