Life's a Pitch
The Big Kahuna
Review by Ross Anthony

Didn't get enough of Kevin Spacey this Oscar season? Well, the Kahuna has got plenty more of that dry dark humor and smug eyebrow raising to quench your appetite for the snake-tongued hard guy with a heart.

Adapted from its more appropriately named play: "Hospitality Suite," "Big Kahuna" never leaves a 16th floor Wichita hotel room. But that's okay, because acting power times three doesn't necessitate a change of scenery - though direction and script are pretty darned important too. Don't worry, they're included with the price of your ticket.

Three industrial lubricant representatives discuss sales strategy, religion, character and carrot sticks vs. shrimp on ice. Spacey plays the aggressive, no-holds-barred, long-time friend of the depressed, yet sweet Danny Devito. Facinelli is the new guy, Bob, innocent and perhaps a bit too saintly for the task at hand.

Spacey is a devilish delight. Devito's films can be hit or miss, but this is one is certainly more on than off and refreshingly devoid of his Louie character persona. Facinelli shows great talent and patience with his role, flaunting his range when compared to that interstellar killer role in "Supernova."

If we've all got something to sell, what parts do character and integrity play in our occupational goals? The film explores these questions in a simple, compelling, entertaining, stage-felt way.

Best quote: "That's the last thing I need to do ... grease another ***hole for the lubricant industry."

Ross Anthony's Revision Notes: (Read only if you've seen the film)

[Interviews]   [Revision Notes]

  • The Big Kahuna. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Kevin Spacey, Danny Devito, Peter Facinelli.
  • Directed by John Swanbeck
  • Written by Roger Rueff
  • Produced by Elie Samaha, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Stevens at trigger street/franchise/lions gate.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:06 PDT