Reviewed by Dan Lybarger
September 19, 1996
The photography for the food in Big Night is so good that itís hard to resist the temptation to reach into the screen and grab a mouthful. The rest of the movie is occasionally just as appetizing. Stanley Tucci (Murder One) and Tony Shalhoub (Wings) play a couple of struggling Italian restaurateurs who stage a lavish banquet for a celebrity, hoping the gala will attract customers for their tasty but ignored cuisine. The event is populated by lively characters (Ian Holm is a riot as the vulgar owner of a rival eating establishment), several funny scenes and some fine ensemble work from the likes of Isabella Rossellini and Campbell Scott. Scott and Tucci both make their director debuts here, but have difficulty overcoming a languid conclusion and the predictable plot by Tucci and his cousin Joseph Tropiano. Thereís a lot to recommend Big Night, but it just doesnít make the final course ( R ). Rating: 7.
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