The Big Kahuna 
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The Big Kahuna: Friday April 28, 2000

A funny, powerful and insightful meditation on life, love, friendship, honesty, work and God, THE BIG KAHUNA marks director John Swanbeck's film debut, as well as the producing debut of Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey, who stars along with Danny DeVito and Peter Facinelli. Written by Roger Rueff, based on his play "Hospitality Suite," it is being distributed by Lions Gate Films.
In THE BIG KAHUNA Larry (Kevin Spacey), Phil (Danny DeVito) and Bob (Peter Facinelli) are three midwestern businessmen at crucial stages of their lives. Larry is a smooth-talking slick operator whose brutal honesty comes as no surprise to his old pal Phil but shocks and offends young Bob. Recently married, deeply religious and a bit nervous about his first convention, Bob's wholesome righteousness irks Larry to no end. Trying to keep the peace is Phil, whose been in the business the longest. Recently divorced and emotionally and physically exhausted, Phil has suddenly found himself forced to reassess his life and purpose. As the evening progresses with the three men waiting for an important potential client to stop by - "the big kahuna" - they find themselves opening up in unexpected ways. As the night turns to day, each man has been transformed in ways that they - and the audience - would never expect.
  2000 Lion Gate Films

 

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Score:

Reviewers

Ebert UsaToday Mr Showbiz Herald Average
Points 87.5     62.5  

 

Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing
40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"

Director

John Swanbeck 

Writer

Roger Rueff

Genre

Comedy/Drama 

Budget

 

Starring:

Kevin Spacey as Larry
Danny De Vito as Phil
Peter Facinelli as Bob

Running Time

 

Rating

 Rated R for language

Distributor

 Lions Gate Films

Trailer

Media Player 

Website

Official Site 

Soundtrack

from   

 

 

 The People's Review of The Big Kahuna

85
score = None
comments = The point is that whenever you are pushing your point of view you violate the "other."  If love comes from God, then the proseletizing of either religion or lubricants violates God, because it judges the "other" or uses him/her.

Jim 
score = 10 
This is the worst movie I have ever seen. It took every once of energy not to get up and leave the theatre. One hour and 31 minutes of mindless masturbation. No plot, terrible dialogue, pathetic characters, awful acting. Sucked big time!!!!!! My friend who just read the review and saw the film with me said that my critique is not harsh enough.

Nick 
score = 30 
Sorry, kevin spacey couldnt carry the movie the entire time...nor should he have had to, considering the lifeless and banal performances of devito and facinelli. Unfortunate because the movie started out so well. A convention, a perfect place to introduce spacey's penultimate character, one which we frequently see him playing, the snotty, abrupt, "blunt" , sarcastic businessman. The sad part is that  the role which spacey has played so well in other movies like american beauty and swimming with sharks, has no room to flourish here, for all the audience is allowed to see is 3 grown men sitting in the hospitality suite of a witchita hotel, talking about "god". The potential for riotously funny banterings between the 3 characters is enormous. The big Kahuna, we wonder, whats this character all about, how will they land the big kahuna, what clever plan will they hatch to land this once in a lifetime, bread and butter client...? The imagination runs wild with the thought of all these possibilities, but thats pretty much as far as it goes. Yes, this movie is all dialogue, which, when perfected, is far superior to any special effect you can sink money into, for an example, see Glengarry GlenRoss. Dialogue with direction is great, but vague and repititious dialogue about one man's spirituality versus another's lack thereof, just didnt add up to "entertainment" for me. I would have liked to see something, anything actually happen in this movie, with spacey and devito, one would expect far more than was actually delivered.

a sales person 
score = 100 
this was a great movie. It exposed the varous emotional issues facing us in the sales profession. Often times, outsiders see us as no more than mere glad handers, smoozers, and compliment giving ass kissers. Under the veneer is a struggle to make your product the most appealing, even when you know of all of its warts and the lack of the organization's inability to support your efforts in the field - all the while demanding that you bring home the order from the Big Kahuna (or your largest customer). I greatly enjoyed the dialogue between Spacey and de Vito at the tail end of the movie. I was also greatly impressed how de Vito carreid his character, displaying the burnout all of us in sales eventually achieve and coming to a cross roads in your life when you must make choices so not to have the life destruct you or the ones around you who care for you. Danny's dressing down of the Bob and his holy approach to jesus (that's his product)and Bob's inability to regret what he has done was very powerful. It is a man telling us that we are inable to feel the pain of life unless you can look back and see all the wrongs you have commited and now carry the guilt and sting of wishing it could, somehow, be all rearranged and righted. This was a great movie and it blends the humorous with the angst with such great skkill. The actors carried their lines/persona extremely well, the screenplay was excellent, and the camera angles were just as powerful, all amplifying on the individual emotions each man felt. True to the life of a sales person,the film has no happy ending, or for that matter a definitive closure. It's just another day to put yourself in front of others and make due with what you have of offer, hoping that it will somehow connect.

eirik pontious 
score = 100 
definately in the all time top five.  I haven't seen kevin spacey this good since swimming with the sharks.  Peter Facineli is truly an up an comer, i think we will see a lot from him.  In My opinion, this movie comes in a close third in my top five, beaten only by Hard leaving las vegas, in second and Msgnolia in the # 1 slot

Mike Brown 
score = 90 
While it's not a film for those who require gunfights, gladiatoral combat or gross-out humor, those who appreciate superb, understated acting and insightful writing with intelligent themes, might appreciate "The Big Kahuna." With no special effects or elaborate dolly shots, the filmmaking process is totally subservient to the writing and acting.  "The Big Kahuna" is, therefore, not for everyone.  It's takes that rare filmgover commodity, intelligence, to appreciate.

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