If you’re anything like us, you’ve been salivating at the ever-suave Stanley Tucci’s online cocktail making demonstrations. Tucci’s pull lies in the way he manages to be both sophisticated and unintimidating. He knows things, but he’s happy to share. It’s this same energy that helps make his directorial debut, and recent Netflix addition, Big Night, such a thrill.
Co-directing alongside Campbell Scott, Tucci also stars alongside Tony Shalhoub as two Italian immigrant brothers hoping to make a success of a restaurant in 1950s New Jersey. Shalhoub’s character Primo is a virtuoso chef, determined that he won’t dumb down his recipes for the local Americans, even if it means the restaurant failing. His brother Secondo (Tucci) is more concerned with living the dream, paying the bills and making things work with both his girlfriend and his mistress
The titular big night arrives when popular Italian-American jazz singer Louis Prima is invited along for a meal. Primo labours over exquisite dishes, while Secondo works on rounding up a guest list — including local press — that’ll help turn the restaurant’s fortunes. Perhaps predictably, things don’t go to plan — but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Big Night is endlessly seductive as a grown-up ode to friends, laughter, music, dancing and, of course, food.
Big Night is available to watch on Netflix with a subscription.