Ossus Library Index Comedy Index


Directed by Peter Cattaneo (1997, Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, and William Snape

Some unemployed steel workers decide to strip to gain money, so that one of them can get joint custody of his son.



4 stars

April 21st, 2000 on Video  

A very fun, as well as engaging, comedy.  Instead of being completely silly, the characters take on a real concern and do something about it.  It is very fresh, and extremely funny.

The main character is Gaz, who has been laid off as the steel company he worked for all his life has closed down.  He and the rest of the gang are looking for work, but there is no work to be done. 

They are incensed when they discover large lineups outside a chip 'n' dales male strip club.  Those men make more money in a night than Gaz and his buddies did in a week when they were working!

So the idea starts up, why not strip to make some money.  I believe the chip 'n' dales setup was only on for a limited time, so that they can pull this off. 

Enter Gaz' ex-wife, who is seeing somebody else, and who is filing for sole custody of their child.  Now he is desperate for money, to show that he can still be a good father.  So Gaz gathers up his best buddy, Dave, and his ex-foreman, Nathan, and they hold interviews for men to form a strip group.  This is one of the funniest parts of the movie, as all these losers try to become strippers.  It's pretty funny when the main characters do it, because they are so bad, but these guys are even worse!

The group they end up with is so rag-tag, you wonder how they will ever get women into the club.  Gaz is skin and bones, Dave is fat, Nathan is old, and the other guys are not what you would call attractive.  There is one guy who might be considered so, actually, because he is fairly muscular, and the looks on all their faces when he takes down his pants is shocking!

So they practice.  Nathan has taken dance lessons with his wife, so he tries to coordinate them.  And that's no small feat!  The funniest part of the movie takes place in Nathan's house, when some people come to try and repossess his TV.  The five or six men, all in their underwear, come into the room and tell them to get out.  It's really, really, funny!

But they end up getting arrested, as they practice at the old steel plant, for indecent exposure.  This seems to seal Gaz' fate, as his son was there for the practice, too.  They call off the strip. 

Also, Dave has decided that he can't lose weight, and that he can't do it, anyway.  He takes a job as a security officer at a Wal-Mart-like store.  But his wife finds the thong he had practiced in, so suspects he has been cheating on her.  This leads to a very touching scene where she tells him that she would definitely show up to watch him strip.

And the club has already sold hundreds of tickets!  So the show must go on!  Dave shows up, and the guys decide to go on stage to the cheering women (and a few men).  They do an amazingly choreographed strip, and the last scene shows them from behind, throwing off the last piece of clothing.

It was funny all the way through, with real people, and real concerns.  There was initially no chance for these guys to compete with the chip 'n' dales, until Gaz tells a couple of women, in front of the rest of the shocked group, that they hold nothing back, that they will be doing the full Monty.  And they giggle, and go on their way, saying that they would show up for that.  And that's the only way they could even get a single woman to show up.  But they fill the club, and you feel good for them!


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