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Overall Rating

Awesome: 41.38%
Worth A Look44.83%
Average: 6.9%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 6.9%

2 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Big Night
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by Ryan Arthur

"Bite your teeth into the ass of life."
4 stars

Don't see this movie on an empty stomach.

Because it's a movie about food. And you'll be drooling. And your stomach will be making weird noises.

Primo and Secondo (Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci) are two brothers who own an authentic Italian restaurant called Paradise. Primo's a food genius, a master chef. Cooking, to him, is art. When a woman asks for spaghetti and meatballs as a side dish, Primo's pissed. That's serving two starches together, and that's not good. "Maybe I put mashed potatoes for other side!" he says. Secondo basically keeps his distance. He knows Primo's a genius when it comes to food, but business is lacking.

Primo asks Pascal (Ian Holm) for advice and a loan. Pascal owns another Italian restaurant, and he gives people what they want. Pascal offers to have a famous Italian-American singer visit Paradise. The brothers will fix an excellent meal for the singer and his band, and all the papers will report on it, bringing more business to Paradise. Or so it's supposed to go.

Throw in the complications of Secondo's girlfriend Phyllis (Minnie Driver), Pascal's mistress (Isabella Rossellini) and the fact that the singer may not even show up, and you've got an engaging movie with a certain amount of charm that most films seem to be lacking.

Plus, there's all that food.

It's lovingly filmed (including an unbroken shot of one brother cooking and serving a perfect omlette to the other) and looks pretty damn tasty. It's as much a star of the film as the actors are.

Nicely acted and well done overall.

"To eat good food is to be close to God."

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/13/98 01:55:31
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2007 Florida Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/21/14 Dane R. Youssef A movie that will forever change how you're gonna think about foreigners, cuisine, life. 5 stars
7/06/10 art a film about GREASY SLOP,served at a dump,in "GLORIOUS" new jersey! 1 stars
4/13/10 art ALL THAT SLOP in this movie gave me INDIGSTION NUT"S to this TURKEY! 1 stars
1/30/04 fhfjrfh A dramatic and emotional piece of cinema. 5 stars
4/06/03 Jack Sommersby A lovely film about family love and the love of food. 4 stars
6/26/01 Monday Morning I had to go make an omelet right after seeing this. Great stuff. 4 stars
3/20/01 Tom Indulges your senses in a fun, dramatic, wonderful piece of cinema. A++ 5 stars
10/30/99 Bozo Eat first, then enjoy this slice-of-life that has alot going for it 5 stars
7/02/99 Sleeper Bloody wonderful. 4 stars
4/26/99 Michael Grimm made me hungry, some parts drug on though 4 stars
4/12/99 Alonzo ( This wasn't as good as I thought It'd be, sort of boring, but ok overall 3 stars
1/02/99 tarkin666 Goddamn, what a great film. Actually made me feel something. 5 stars
12/02/98 Kirgo One of the best films of that year! 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Intimate and well-acted. The last scene is one of the most touching that I've seen recently 4 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee No. I hated this. WTF?! Ending terrible. 3 stars
8/25/98 Pete Well written, well acted. A great "feel" to this flick. And with Ian Holm! 4 stars
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  20-Sep-1996 (R)



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