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1997 British comedy movie about a group of unemployed former steel workers who see the reaction of local women to a Chippendales-type show and decide they might make some money as strippers themselves (who may or may not go "the full monty"). Much of the movie concerns their own resistance to the idea and others' tendency to laugh at them, but the end is triumphant.

Director: Peter Cattaneo Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Gaz (Robert Carlyle), is an unemployed steelworker. He is in danger of losing access visits to his son, and he needs money badly. He gets a wild idea after hearing about a sold-out performance by the Chippendale dancers - why don't he and his mates become male strippers?

Just to ensure they are successful they will go "The full Monty" i.e. strip completely naked.

Now Gaz and his fellow dancers are just ordinary blokes. They're not Chippendales by any stretch of the imagination, and they will have to swallow a lot of pride if they're going to go through with it.

Because, this is a movie about pride - male pride in particular. All the 'dancers' have to cope with the idea that they aren't the breadwinners any more. The fragility of their "male identity" has been streatched to breaking point. Dave (Mark Addy), a "big bloke" who tries to sweat the weight off his waistline while he munches on chocolate bars, is convinced his wife doesn't want him any more, and is having an affair. Tom Wilkinson is Gaz's former supervisor, Gerald, who lacks the courage to tell his wife that he's been unemployed for the past six months. Gaz himself, for all his apparent optimism, just wants to feel he is a good father.

The performances are convincing, the script is excellent, and the direction draws you into the depressing world the characters live in, without ever depressing you. It's also very funny. See it, if you haven't already.

The origin of the English expression 'The full Monty' is not exactly known. Several theories exist, including references to General Montgomery and the Monte Carlo casino. The most favoured of these is that it is a reference to Montague Burton, a tailor from Sheffield. The business grew largely due to the manufacturing of World War 2 uniforms for the British Army and demob suits, worn by soldiers upon discharge from the Army. The 'full Monty' relates to the choice of suit - a standard two-piece was fine, but if you really wanted to push the boat out you went for a three-piece suit: The full Monty

I've just finished watching this 1997 movie starring Robert Carlyle for the second time in my life.

It's very much a "feel good" film, being the story of six unemployed "average blokes" deciding to earn some money by learning to be and performing as strippers. There are subplots for all six main characters with Robert's character needing money to pay his child support back payments in order to be allowed to keep contact with his son, one of the guys being terrified that his overweight body will revolt his audience, and a gay relationship forming between two of the dancers and being easily accepted by the rest. 

I shalln't go further into the story or reiterate any of the information given by the other noders here, but I will talk about how the film affects me.

The other time I watched this film was the last time my grown-up family was actively happy together, as a family. We all watched it together - my then almost four year old daughter, my seven year old son, my now ex husband and myself. I kept shuddering every time someone said a bad word, and rolling my eyes at my ex, and trying to answer questions raised in my children's minds by the film in the ad breaks.

And smiling.

A lot.

By the end of the film all four of us were cheering, and when it ended we all got up and danced madly around the room to Hot Chocolate's Sexy Thing.

We were all laughing like idiots and it was wonderful.

It's a great film. Watch it.

Not just confined to stripping, this is a British English phrase which generically means 'everything', 'the whole hog', 'the works' etc.

To 'do the Full Monty' is to 'go all the way', whether you're removing your clothing, eating a large breakfast or any other act that can be performed to varying degrees of success.

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