The Full Monty is a comedy set in Sheffield, England. The plot follows the story of six unemployed men, four of them former steel workers, who attempt to make money as stripteasers. The film was a modest hit, released in the summer of 1997 to stellar reviews and decent box office. But then the film was a surprise nominee for Best Picture. The film made $257 million worldwide on a budget of $3.5 million, $45 million of which came Stateside. The film was adapted into a Broadway Musical in 2000, which moves the plot to America.
Contains examples of:
Black Comedy: Cheery fun about a bunch of guys stripping off for the ladies, but it doesn't gloss over the fact that they hit on doing it because their livelihoods have been destroyed, and a bleak future of long-term unemployment seems most likely.
Horse, becomes concerned when he learns of the plan to strip completely, because he thinks everyone will expect his penis to be large when it is instead of normal size. It is instead Guy, a white guy, who has a rather large penis.
Gaz (upon seeing Guy's "assets" at the tryouts): Gentlemen, the lunchbox has landed.
Also subverts it, in that Dave asks his wife whether, were anything to happen to him, she might take up with a black feller. She answers that she "might do, yeah". He immediately goes into a funk, because everyone knows they have "great bodies and that"*
some do, yeah
. However, he really is talking about their physiques, and not their equipment, because he's very insecure about his appearance.
Chick Flick: The spear counterpart— basically a "chick flick" from a man's perspective, as guys stop and think of who they are, what they look like and their place in the world. The whole scene at Gerald's house is nothing but this.
During the movie, the boys watch Flashdance for inspiration. They spend the whole time criticizing Jennifer Beale's welding.
Lomper dismissing the idea of committing suicide by drowning because he can't swim.
At the police station, the cops are having a laugh at the gang's attempt to strip, then everyone starts criticizing Gaz, telling him he's always a beat ahead of the music.
Cool Old Lady: The musical adds in a delirious old woman who "came with the piano".
Cultural Translation: The musical. It moves the action to Buffalo, NY and renames most of the characters (Lomper becomes "Malcolm", Gary = Jerry, Gerald = Harold, and Guy = Ethan). Dave and Horse remain the same.
Driven to Suicide: Lomper attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in his car, after losing his job as the security guard at the steel mill. After Dave pulls him out of it (the car), they have a discussion about other suicide options:
Dave: Drownin'. Now there's a way to go.
Lomper: I can't swim.
Gaz: Well you don't have to fucking swim, you divvy. That's the whole point. God, you're not very keen are you?
Mr. Fanservice: Averted in-universe. Their act is based on a Chippendales show, and none of the men resemble those dancers in any way. Justified thanks to...
Gerald is choleric, Dave and Lomper are melancholic, Horse is phlegmatic and Guy is sanguine.
Gag Penis: It appears to be Guy's only "talent" in the tryouts. Subverted with Horse, whose name strongly suggests this trope ("it's not because he's won the Grand National"), who is astonishingly... good at dancing.
"I've got a friend, like Carole King, or was it Carly Simon, used to sing, I always get those two confused, but anyway—I've got a friend."
Hypocritical Humor: When Dave gets a job as a security guard job as ASDA (supermarket), he tells Dave that he is "working, earning, not poncing about!" after he has just been seen trying to juggle confectionery.
Men Act, Women Are: The first part of this trope is key to the situation; if men are defined by what they do, the closure of the steelworks has robbed them of their role. Worse, they can no longer provide for their families: all the men are now on state benefits, or their wives are the breadwinner. The latter is obviously not a bad thing or presented as such, but for the men of Sheffield it's still a persistent wound to the ego.
Gerald insults Gaz and Dave on their appearance by saying, "He's fat, you're thin, and you're both fucking ugly."
Dave also insults everyone by envisaging the worst-case scenario which could occur during their act, "What if, next Friday, 400 women turn round and say, 'He's too fat, he's too old, and he is a pigeon chested little tosser!'" and goes on to say that Lomper is "basically a bastard."
Rendered in the musical with the women of their imagination singing over and over "He's fat, he's old, he's skinny, he's bald, he's short, he's got pimples on his ass!"
A double Take That there, as the last two are both toward Malcolm (Lomper). I guess Ethan (Guy) doesn't have the confidence issues.
The Unreveal: Thanks to clever lighting, the Broadway version manages to have the guys completely naked, and yet we can't see a thing. The film, of course, has the luxury of showing them from behind.
Unconfessed Unemployment: Gerald never tells his wife he's lost his job. She finds out only when the repo men show up, much to her displeasure.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gaz and Dave mess with Gerald during a job interview to have a laugh at their former foreman, costing him the job. He comes out and yells at them, nearly in tears. They buy him a little something for the garden by way of apology.
You Keep Using That Word: "The Full Monty" is an expression which just means all the way; everything. Americans, unfamiliar with it before this film, generally believe it means "taking all of your clothes off".