The Big Kahuna (1999)

Dir. John Swanbeck
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Danny Devito and Peter Facinelli.

I want to draw the attention of Mitchell, Tony, Penny, Kevin, Chris and John to this film. This is not a great film I think they will love (although they might really like it), but I’m sure the film will keep their attention, and I’m sure there are aspects of the film that will interest them. I’d recommend this to Grace and Joel next. I think Marc, Don, and Jill would find this interesting, but this is not something I’d say rush out to see.

The film (adapted from a play) involves three businessmen–two seasoned veterans Larry (Spacey) and Phil (DeVito) and one rookie, Bob (Facinelli)–who host a party in the hopes of making a business deal, especially with a very big potential client. The film involves the three of the characters talking. Larry is blunt and confidence. Phil, a long time friend of Larry, is somber, almost depressed as he’s just gone through a tough divorce. Bob is a twenty-something with strong religious convictions. They conversation involves business, life and even religion. Spacey is good in these conversations, as you would expect. The film takes a turn when Bob has a conversation with the big client about Jesus.

The film is a rare in the way that it deals seriously with Christianity, particularly the subject of witnessing. I liked the twist at the end of the film regarding Phil’s admonition of Bob. However, DeVito didn’t seem well-suited for a down-in-the-dumps character who is getting serious about life. Also, in terms of the script, I thought he reflections about life from Phil–the dissatisfied businessman–were banal.

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