Well, I’ve already been a day late a couple of times, and last week, I missed this series completely. Par for the course with regular features here!
I love this silly, raunchy, hilarious ode to how a few men in a rustbelt city will scheme to make a few bucks. The rustbelt town is Sheffield, England, and our heroes are out of work steelmill employees, who concoct an odd plan, led by Gaz (Robert Carlyle), to put on a strip-tease show for pay. Of course, these guys aren’t the best looking examples of the male species, so Gaz decides to go one better: he promises that his group of strippers will do “the full monty” — meaning, they’ll go all the way. Complete nudity.
What always gets me about this movie is its sheer warmth. Everybody in it is really likable, everybody in it has problems that seem real, and it just doesn’t seem that outlandish for these guys to pull this scheme together. Even at the end, during the final strip dance, the guys are making eyes to the ladies and laughing while they do it. They’re in on the joke, and they’re fine with it. Because they’re going all the way, see…the full monty.
Anyway, the movie’s first big laugh for me comes when Gaz and his chubby friend Dave are out jogging, and they come upon a motorist whose car won’t start. The motorist sits in the car morosely as Dave diagnoses the problem and gets the car running again and cheerfully jogs away, only belatedly realizing that this sad sack motorist has a hose running from his tailpipe to the inside of his car. Dave runs back and drags him out of the exhaust-filled car, saving his life — and when the guy complains, Dave grabs him and stuffs him back in the car, until the guy relents. Then comes this delightfully absurd scene where Gaz, Dave, and Lomper (our suicidal friend) are comparing notes about ways to off oneself.
GAZ and LOMPER sit in the grass; DAVE is lying on his back looking at the clouds. An air of failure hangs over LOMPER at his failure to end it all.
DAVE: You could shoot yourself.
GAZ: Where’s he gonna find a gun from around here? You might wanna find yourself a big bridge here, then.
DAVE: Yeah…like one of them bungee jumps, only without the bungee bit.
LOMPER: I can’t stand heights, me.
A moment of silence….
DAVE: Drownin’. Now there’s a way to go.
LOMPER: Can’t swim.
GAZ: You don’t have to fucking swim, ya divvy, that’s the whole point! God, you’re not very keen, are you?
DAVE: I know. You could stand in middle of road and get a mate run smack into you right fast.
LOMPER: Haven’t got any mates.
GAZ: Listen, you, we just saved your fucking life so don’t tell us we’re not your mates, all right?
DAVE: Yeah, me and all, I’d run ya down as soon as look at ya.
LOMPER: Oh aye? Cheers.
Lomper starts to grin at the turn of luck from attempting suicide to finding two mates.
LOMPER: Thanks a lot.
I love well-done gallows humor, and this scene always tickles me. You can watch the whole scene here.
Love that movie, and I love Robert Carlyle. One of my favorite things that he has done is a short promo film about whiskey.
Yeah, that was the moment when I really started to love that film.