The Big Kahuna (1999) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for language
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Peter Facinelli, Paul Dawson
Director: John Swanbeck
Screenplay: Roger Rueff (based on his play)
Review published July 28, 2000
Based on Roger Rueff's stage play "Hospitality Suite" (which he adapts for the big screen himself), this tells the story of one night in a hotel hospitality suite with three lubricant salesman attending a convention for manufacturers. Their goal for the evening is to sign aboard "the big kahuna" of accounts, Dick Fuller, and they will do just about anything to get his business.
Well-done material from first-time screenwriter Rueff and first-time director Swanbeck. However it's the performances by the three leads that brings this knowing and insightful film to life, with Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Negotiator) delivering yet another incredible performance. Delves far deeper into the human psyche than you'd expect from material about lubricant salesman, with lots of commentary about the state of modern religion, it's a fascinating work and quite humorous as well. Unfairly overlooked, but a gem worth picking up at the video store, and a must-see for Spacey fan.
©2000 Vince Leo