Milo Paulus’s review published on Letterboxd:
A truly remarkable film with tremendous work by all actors involved, and an insightful script about friendship, love, passion, cultural clash, adaptability and ambition, all dressed up as this wonderful feast of a film that gets better and better with every passing minute, until it reaches an unexpected but brilliant climax.
Big Night is without question one of the most underrated / underappreciated / under-seen films I've probably watched, ever? With only a scant amount of ratings on IMDb, and a handful of the people I follow who have seen it, this is a clear example of a film that deserves more love. I stumbled on it totally by accident. I had never heard of this film before a couple of days ago, and I'm oh so glad I decided to give it a shot.
The focal point of the film is the chemistry between the characters of Stanley Tucci, playing a hard-working, pleading, frustrated restaurant owner, whose head carries only logic and a goal for success, and Tony Shalhoub, his brother, whose aggressive passion is for the food he cooks and the mystery and subtext within it, yet his interaction with people is painfully shy. Their clashes of pride, their battles with each other's completely different perspectives, and yet their sharing of the same dream are what drives the story. This film is a peaceful joy to watch because its themes and the overall feeling of the film is so normal. The characters, so beautifully rich, are realistic and so are their problems. The characters are mainly wonderfully, infectiously bombastic Italians, and entire scenes are sometimes constructed of the process of making Italian food from scratch. The subtlety and unaffronting reality of these qualities are so endearing to me.
Take the time to watch this gem. It's a pure delight and a film for everyone.