By Leah Rozen
August 25, 1997 12:00 PM

Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson

Well, as they say, it beats going on the dole. After watching local lasses queue for a one-night appearance by Chippendales types, Carlyle, a laid-off steelworker in Sheffield, England, persuades his other unemployed buddies that doffing their clothes is the way to financial security. This makes for a jolly, slick ensemble comedy, with particularly good performances by Wilkinson, as an ex-supervisor who clutters his middle-class lawn with garden gnomes, and Mark Addy, who must overcome the shame he feels for his love handles. The movie is completely, cheerfully inoffensive, though there’s something going on here about disempowered men trying to reclaim their masculinity by exposing themselves. Best not to think about it. (R)