Big Night

"Excellent"

Big Night Review


One reality in this world is certain: nice guys finish last. And while the case can be made that Primo and Secondo aren't the nicest guys around, it's pretty clear from the beginning of Big Night that they are doomed to be taken advantage of.

This little gem, a darling of the festival circuit and cause for a huge rebirth in star, co-writer, co-producer, and co-director Stanley Tucci's career, tells the beautiful and touching story of two brothers (Tucci as Secondo, and Wings cab driver Tony Shalhoub as Primo) trying to make it as restaurateurs, straight off the boat from Italy.

Primo, the head chef, refuses to compromise on the tiniest detail regarding the food, while Secondo does battle on the business end. The meals they serve are second to none, but all the customers go down the street to their rival's (an Italian Ian Holm) thanks to his singing waiters. With the bank ready to foreclose, Primo and Secondo try to turn things around, and they put all they've got into one last feast in honor of jazz great Louis Prima, who may or may not actually be showing up. A big night indeed.

Intertwining the restaurant drama with the brothers' unsatisfying personal lives, Tucci and co-writer Joseph Tropiano tell a beautiful and touching story that resonates with a authenticity rarely found in today's films. Tucci, Shalhoub, and Holm are all excellent, as are Isabella Rossellini and Circle of Friends's Minnie Driver as Secondo's love interests. Tucci and co-director Campbell Scott (co-star of Singles) also do excellent work considering their amateur status.

While the film can get a bit talky at times (beware of the scenes with subtitles), it's overall a very moving and delightful first work for these guys. Deserving special notice are the exquisite cooking/dining scenes, which do for Italian food what Eat Drink Man Woman did for Chinese. All-in-all, it's a warm, funny, and at the same time heartbreaking look at one big night in the company of some truly interesting people.

Mangia.

Tucci and Shalhoub compare fingers.



Big Night

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th September 1996

Distributed by: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Production compaines: Rysher Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Secondo, as Primo, as Cristiano, as Phyllis, as Gabriella, as Leo, as Pascal, as Ann, as Natalie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.