Gaz (Robert Carlyle) and his best friend Dave (Mark Addy) are unemployed steelworkers in the economically depressed English town of Sheffield. They feel like they've been consigned to the scrap heap of life. Then Gaz comes up with a scheme to make some money and to restore their self-esteem. They'll take it all off ("the full monty") in a male strip show for the town's women. Gaz auditions other men for their troupe and chooses a suicidal fellow, a middle-aged ex-foreman at the plant, a well-endowed stud, and an over-the-hill hoofer.

Similar in spirit and spunk to Brassed Off, this rowdy comedy directed by Peter Cattaneo captures and conveys the ways in which joblessness contributes to a malaise of body, mind, and spirit. When there seems to be no way out of hopelessness and helplessness, Gaz inspires his mates with his wild and crazy idea. In the process of rehearsing and planning the event, these middle-agers fashion a new sense of community and camaraderie. The old barriers that separated management and labor are tossed aside. They are able to bare their bodies because their souls have been revivified.

The Full Monty is a funny and fetching celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit. Here imagination and risk are the catalysts to soul-making.