Food Porn: Movies For The Foodie In Your Life – Big Night

With the increasing popularity of the Food Network and it’s many shows, “celebrity” chefs, and websites like www.foodnetworkhumor.com, chances are you have a strange creature that identifies as a “foodie” in your life.  If your food fanatic has every kitchen gadget, cook book, spice blend and truffle paste available, never fear we’ve got you covered! Consider gifting your grub-loving pal with one of the great foodie flicks we’ll be profiling on Biff Bam Pop for the next few weeks! Hey, the holidays are all about spending time with loved ones and celebrating whatever you happen to celebrate, but they’re also all about food too am I right?!

For the Italian food lover:

Big Night (1996)
Dir: Campell Scott & Stanley Tucci

Widely known by both film lovers and foodies alike, Big Night stars Tony Shalhoub as “Primo” and Stanely Tucci as “Secondo”; two Italian brothers struggling to run their restaurant “Paradise” in 1950’s New Jersey.

Despite the fact that Primo is an extremely talented chef, the restaurant struggles as Primo will only cook authentic Italian food, unpopular with customers who demand more Americanized dishes like spaghetti and meatballs. Nearby, their closest competitor Pascal’s restaurant thrives serving the more lowbrow “Italian-style” dishes.

When Secondo goes to Pascal and begs for advice to save his failing eatery, Pascal offers to help by inviting his friend famous singer Louis Prima to dine at “Paradise” when he is in town, in the hopes that the ensuing publicity will drum up business. The brothers spend every last cent they have preparing for this big night, a huge banquet, inviting many guests, a reporter for the local newspaper and spreading the word through town. If this plan doesn’t work they must give up their dream for good.

Big Night is a brilliant film from start to finish, with compelling performances from both Tucci and Shalhoub in their roles as the oft-feuding (yet fiercely bonded) brothers. A strong supporting cast including Minnie Driver and Isabella Rossellini take the movie over the top…plus it has Allison Janney in it and in my eyes she really can do no wrong. Just sayin’!

If there is any kind of warning I’d issue to go with Big Night it would be to not watch it hungry. I don’t know who the food stylist was in this film but they deserve an Oscar (wait…is “Best Food Stylist” even a category? It should be!). The food in the film is created with painstaking detail – even the sounds of food preparation in the movie are enough to induce hunger pangs – you can almost smell the garlic and onions frying in olive oil, the sauces simmering on the stove. There is a largely silent scene at the end of the movie during which a frittata is being prepared and if that doesn’t make you want to grab a frying pan and start cracking eggs, there might be something wrong with you.

Big Night is a must have for the serious food flick fan so if your foodie hasn’t seen it yet, grab a copy as a last minute holiday gift!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to whip up some Timpano.

Trailer:

Past Food Porn editions:
Waitress
Like Water For Chocolate

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