The audition sequence could have provided a few solid laughs, but instead opted to take slapstick/dancer-with-big-penis route. Even the “full monty” that the audience is practically promised throughout the film is missing. After that letdown, the film just…ends. We’re left in the dark as to what happens to these troubled men.
Of course, these fellas aren’t your typical Chippendale dancers—but then again, neither was Chris Farley in the SNL skit with Patrick Swayze, and look how amusing that was. And much like the skit, The Full Monty is eager to poke fun at the “fat guy” (Mark Addy), making for one unfunny running gag.
To be fair, there are hilariously memorable moments in Cattaneo’s unique little film. Take for instance the now-famous “Hot Stuff” scene, where the men hear the Donna Summer tune, and rhythmically yet subtly practice their dance moves in front of other unemployables.
The Full Monty, despite what heart and occasional chuckles it may have, falls into a number of traps. There are pauses in the flow, like when two characters embrace each other, and presumably kiss (which had zilch to do with the story—just a failed laugh). Or the aforementioned gags on Mark Addy’s character. For those who’ve placed a “higher” sense of humor upon the film (after all, how many comedies end up with Best Picture nominations?), they are greatly misleading the audience.
The Full Monty isn’t smart enough to be witty, but not dumb enough to be, well, modern American. It’s just…bland. I thought the Brits invented comedy…or is that acting? Either way, there’s not enough of either.
Audio Commentary by director Peter Cattaneo and actor Mark Addy: The two remain quite friendly with one another after a decade. They reminisce about shooting, and talk about cut scenes, on-set improvisations, and point out problems with the finished product. Good chemistry, but somewhat standard.
Audio Commentary by Producer Uberto Pasolini: Occasionally interesting, but Pasolini a bit of time to sit back and marvel at the film. A bit of analysis is offered between moments of redundantly describing the scene itself.
10 Deleted Scenes with optional director commentary (33:37): Meh. This is more of a combination of alternates, deletions, and bloopers. Timing it at over 30 minutes, these scenes don’t add much to the film, and seem more for the folks who really enjoyed the film.
Original Cast Interviews (4:28): A series of short bits with the main players, with extra tidbits about their careers listed on a sidebar.
The Original Publicity Campaign is just a fancy way of saying “Trailers and stuff.”
Music Machine is a great addition where you can isolate the scenes where your favorite song is played, be it “Flashdance…What a Feeling” or “Hot Stuff.” Can’t go wrong!
DISC 2: This second disc is loaded with backstory on the film and behind-the-scenes footage. Despite the excess material, most of these segments run far too long and lose steam about four minutes in. Keep on ramblin’, ramblers.
Development (23:25): Developing the Script (7:48) has producer Uberto Pasolini discussing his influences, particularly in Ken Loach’s Riff-Raff, and how screenwriter Simon Beaufoy came onboard. Finding the Director (6:00) focuses on the search for the right director, who turned out to be Cattaneo. The Focus on Sheffield (9:37) gathers some of the crew to sing a lovesong to the “center of England” known as Sheffield.
Production (41:04): Anatomy of a Score (10:54) is a piece with composer Anne Dudley, who chats about how well the music emphasizes the characters and scenes. Stocksbridge Brass Band Blues (5:12) is a bit with said brass band, and their sad little history. Song & Dance (9:09) is another piece on the music, only this go-round focuses on the soundtrack…getting old here, folks. Editing (6:58) is exactly what it sounds like; producer Pasolini talks of cutting, re-cutting, and once again, how well the music works with the film. Enough with the music already! For some reason, they included the history of how the title of the film came about. I’m a bit surprised this wasn’t put into its own 8-minute segment. Finally, there’s Translating English to English (8:49), which is a bit hosted by a historical linguist (sexiest profession ever, admit it) who talks about how American audiences are dumb and don’t know that a “stone” is actually a weight measurement. WHO F’IN’ CARES?
The Success and its Aftermath (9:34) is exactly what it sounds like. From the sold-out Sundance shows to red wines and beyond, this is a nice (read: ass-kissing) reminiscence-piece that insists the film helped many Brits cope with the death of Princess Diana. Get…over…yourself.
A Bigger Picture – A Look at the British Film Industry in the 90s (27:45): Film historian Ian Christie discusses how The Full Monty was influenced by earlier British cinema, and how important the film would prove to be. Pretty much a half-hour piece on how British cinema hasn’t really got the appreciation it deserves. Snooze.