Sunday, January 8, 2012

Big Night (1996)

Synopsis: The head chef and the restaurant manager are at each other’s throats, the creditors are banging on the door... hey, let’s throw a party!

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: ‘BIG NIGHT is the story of two brothers whose Italian restaurant is on the brink of bankruptcy. Their only chance for success is to risk everything they own on an extravagant feast for bandleader Louis Prima. But their big night is complicated by a lovers’ triangle, a sneaky restaurant rival, and the hilarious perfection of chef Primo.”

What Did I Learn?: If you order risotto, don’t be a dick and ask for a side of spaghetti and meatballs.

You Might Like This Movie If: You love a good kitchen nightmare.

Really?: It’s the 1950s. Would the local Italian barber really allow Chef Primo to use his phone in order to make a transatlantic call to Rome?

Rating: Big Night is a perfect little character-driven film. You’ll love it if you’re a foodie (a friend of mine sometimes addresses me as the “Late Night Gourmet”), or if you’ve ever tried to make a living through the arts. Tony Shalhoub (Chef Primo) provides the voice of the frustrated artist; his semi-slimy brother (played wonderfully by Stanley Tucci) is the arch realist, who believes in giving the customer what he wants. Their bickering is priceless. 10/10 stars. (Two ten-out-of-ten movie reviews in the course of a week? I must be going soft!)

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