DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
FULL MONTY, THE (director: Peter Cattaneo; screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy; cinematographer: John DeBorman; editor: Nick Moore; cast: Robert Carlyle (Gary 'Gaz' Schofield), Tom Wilkinson (Gerald Arthur Cooper), Mark Addy (Dave Althorpe), Steve Huison (Lomper), Paul Barber (Barrington "Horse" Mitchell), Emily Woof (Mandy Schofield), Hugo Speer (Guy); Runtime: 91; Redwave/Fox Searchlight; 1997-UK)

 
"Even the full monty as promised, was not  delivered."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A "feel-good" movie about unemployment in the steel-mill town of Sheffield, England, and how these laid off workers overcome their misfortunes and gain self-respect by doing something that is out of character; that is, they become strippers. Yes, they become male strippers...in a predictable, likable, and soapy story. It leaves one all fuzzy and cuddly inside as the film uses risque material to make its point that in times of trouble people will do anything to survive, yet it is almost totally devoid of hot sex. It traps you in its formula mode; you can't help wishing these blokes do well. They represent a universal paradigm: there is the loner, the aging man also representing the minorities, the prude who is really a swell guy, the untalented but well-endowed fellow, the insecure one who is also obese, and the regular "joe" down on his luck.

Well, rest assured, things turn out well, they are all good sports about their one night of a full monty (which is a total strip) in front of a ladies only audience.

The film's popularity does not surprise me, people seem to like quick solutions to their problems and films where thinking is not a prerequisite for enjoying it. I have a feeling that this film will age poorly and like a lot of trendy films, will not look good a few years from now. I thought it offered just so-so entertainment value. It never gave me the impression that I was seeing something that mattered. Even the full monty as promised, was not delivered.

REVIEWED ON 10/11/98                       GRADE: C-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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