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Wick's Review

Created Nov 28, 2014 07:52PM PST • Edited Nov 30, 2014 06:15AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. OK 2.5

    Delectable dishes and a beloved cast can’t rescue Stanley Tucci’s passion project. It’s hardly a bad movie, just a bit slow and stilted. Some miscasting and more than a little waiting around are mostly to blame.

    That said, entrepreneurs of all stripes can benefit from seeing Big Night, a case study on getting too far ahead of your customers. To wit, trying to sell risotto to non-Italians in the 1950s is a recipe for failure.

  3. Good 3.0

    Tony Shalhoub & Stanley Tucci play Italian immigrant brothers named Primo & Secondo. They’re not entirely convincing in the roles, which is odd considering what terrific actors they are. Shalhoub plays a tortured culinary artist, a role he should have been able to mine for more humor.

    Big names back them up.

    • Minnie Driver as Tucci’s girlfriend
    • Ian Holm as another Italian immigrant restauranteur: The very British Holm isn’t convincing in this flamboyant role.
    • Isabella Rossellini as his hostess, also surprisingly unaffecting.
    • Marc Anthony as a kitchen hand: Anthony has perhaps one line.
    • Allison Janney as a woman who is the apple of Shalhoub’s eye: Janney also disappoints, though in fairness she’s given almost nothing to work with.
    • Campbell Scott as a brash Cadillac salesman

    The best supporting turn is delivered by Caroline Aaron, as a woman who demands a side of spaghetti with her risotto.

  4. Male Stars Good 3.0
  5. Female Stars Good 3.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. OK 2.5

    The great actor Stanley Tucci wrote Big Night with his cousin Joseph Tropiano, and co-directed it with Campbell Scott. While he’s written and directed one or two more films, his stellar acting career has hardly been upended by behind-the-camera work since.

    Unfortunately, his film waits an hour and a quarter till “Let’s eat.”

    On the plus side, the tension between the brothers is well drawn.

  9. Direction OK 2.5
  10. Play OK 2.5
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Good 3.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.7
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Gentle 1.3
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.1
  18. Glib 1.2

    Gotta love when two immigrants agree that America is the “land of fucking opportunity”. Indeed it is.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.5
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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Feb 21, 2011 12:53PM

Regarding BigdaddyDave’s Review
Good review Dave. My wife and I have been declaring our intention to see Big Night since it came out. Your review has injected some fresh urgency to the matter. Thank you.