Is "Big Night" The Most "Just Right" Movie Ever?

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Monday, January 24, 2011

Boy do I like Netflix streaming video! There is always something interesting to be found. I've now got an Apple TV in my living room and a Roku HDS system in my office, so the hunt for cool material is on. Jean-Michel Basquiat documentaries. Early episodes of Weeds and Dexter. Oddball foreign films. The list goes on.
On a recent Saturday night, in the "Recommended for You" category, up pops Big Night -- the quirky film about a struggling Italian restaurant in the 1960s. I remember watching it on a plane in 1996. It was great then, and maybe greater now. The characters are so well developed, so interesting, so real. Ian Holm's Pasqual has one of the great lines ever spoken in a movie, while lecturing Segundu (Stanley Tucci) on his philosophy of life -- "Bite your teeth into the ass of life -- and drag it to you!"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lYs-2XDkz0
And the feast -- I so wanted a seat at that long table!
The drunken dancing scenes with Louis Prima on the phonograph lead me from Netflix to a YouTube journey through early Prima and Keely Smith videos that opened up a whole new world to me.
If you haven't seen Big Night, do so! It's not the biggest movie ever, or the artiest, or the most clever. But it might be the most "just right" movie ever made.


Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Big Night and wanting to have some timpano when I left the theater. The other thing I remember was the last scene -- how spellbinding and heartbreaking it was without a single word of dialogue.

Anonymous said...

"Big Night" is on my desert island collection. Integrity, betrayal and love combine with amazing food and music to make one of the great "small films" ever.
My favorite Big Night quote, from Pascal: "Give people what they want, then later you can give them what you want."
I think a lot of speaker manufacturers could follow this example.
The Z-Base 525 is EXACTLY what I want.
No, I am not a ZVOX employee, just someone frustrated with trying to find a HTIB, and stumbling upon ZVOX with wide-open eyes. Except that the ZVOX quality is more like Primo's risotto instead of Pascal's swill.

BIG Jake said...

FANTASTIC film, I loved it too!

BIG Jake said...

FANTASTIC film, we love it too!

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