Does Louis Prima show up? It wouldn't be fair to say, and it ultimately doesn't matter. Big Night is more concerned with the tough-love relationship between Primo and Secondo, two strong-willed men who argue with all the intensity you would expect of brothers who so passionately love each other and the food they create. Tucci and Shalhoub portray these characters so vividly, and are so perfectly balanced in their scenes together, that the other cast members are in danger of seeming like mere satellites in their orbit. Even so, the supporting players -- including co-director Scott as a smooth-talking Cadillac salesman -- are everything they should be. And at least two, Holm and Rossellini, are good enough to snatch a few scenes here and there.

Big Night ends with a wordless sequence that's deeply moving, quietly audacious and profoundly eloquent. It sums up everything the movie has to say about what really matters. Think of it as the final course of a wonderfully satisfying banquet.

-- Joe Leydon

Big Night.
Directed by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. With Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub.

Rated R.
108 minutes.

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