Friday, April 29, 2011

Film Pairing — Italian Feasts For Foodies

Big Night and Dinner Rush. First, apologies. The only crimes committed in Big Night are those committed by the customers who demand a talented Italian chef put spaghetti and meatballs on the restaurant’s menu. In Dinner Rush, the demands are more serious. It definitely qualifies as a crime film. However, both films are feasts for foodies and are, despite the genre difference, thematic soul mates.

Big Night (1996) features a pre-Monk Tony Shalhoub, plus Stanley Tucci and Minnie Driver. Louis Prima’s presence and music are felt throughout this critically acclaimed movie. Fine acting dominates a perfect film in Dinner Rush (2000) as well. But it’s Danny Aiello’s restaurant and his film.

You will spend the evening in a New York state of mind while lots of people prepare lots of food. You’ll have to have something to eat too. And wine. You must have a few bottles of Italian red ready to uncork. But if you are having a dinner party for friends that evening, be warned. Your fare will be up against some of the finest food footage shown anywhere.

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