THAT’S STANLEY TUCCI (left) and Anthony Shaloub as a pair of devoted but mismatched brothers running an Italian restaurant in the film Big Night. Primo (Shaloub) is a gifted chef who longs to express himself through his mastery of classic Italian cuisine; bro Secondo (Tucci) just wants to fill the dining room at the Paradise with paying customers.
This proves problematic since Primo’s elegant dishes are lost on their 1950s era Jersey Shore clientele. The high-strung chef is too proud and stubborn to serve up the Italian-American glop their diners crave and which would make their little resto a success.
The sibs briefly consider throwing in the torchon and joining their uncle at his restaurant in Rome, but egged on by fellow restaurateur and frenemy Pascal, who makes a veiled promise to deliver bandleader Louis Prima to the restaurant, they decide to risk everything on a last ditch attempt to make their mark with a single go-for-broke, blow-out event – the Big Night of the title.
Chef Primo goes to extraordinary lengths to prepare the most elaborate and spectacular meal he is capable of. In the end, the celebrity bandleader is a no-show. Guests gorge themselves on Primo’s masterpiece in a what-the-hell mood as betrayals are revealed. One by one the disillusioned partyers say goodnight until only the brothers are left.