Big Kahuna, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

In the cheap hospitality suite of a Wichita, Kansas hotel, salesmen Phil Cooper (Danny Devito) and Bob Walker (Peter Facinelli) arrive for a sales convention. Soon joined by fellow employee Larry Mann (Kevin Spacey), the three spend the rest of the afternoon and night discussing any number of issues, ranging from the meaning of life, to the place of religion in business. Of course, they are there to make their sales pitch to a number of different companies in the market for industrial lubricants. Larry is most excited about the prospect of reeling in the Big Kahuna, a phrase they use to describe getting a big contract for their company. However, their discussions make up the bulk of the film and these talks provide interesting tensions, as well as food for thought well after the film has ended. All three actors turn in fine performances, but Devitos understated performance as the older, wiser and more reflective salesman is the highlight. Based on a stage play, the dialogue is smart and, while the plot is rather predictable, the interaction between these very different men is a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience.

Each salesman represents a different stage of life and looks at the world differently, so each individual brings distinct issues to the forefront of their conversations. Phil, the elder member of the three, is in the midst of a search for meaning in his life. After an ugly divorce and a life spent on the road selling products, he now wonders if there isnt something else he should be doing with his life. Larry, a middle-aged and a thriving career man, is there to get the sale no matter what. Hes even willing to sacrifice his own individuality as a human being in an effort to simply be a robot for his company. Bob, the youngest of the three, is newly married and a born again Christian. His faith impacts his entire life and his portrayal is one of the more realistic of a Christian on the big screen in recent memory. But Bob especially rubs Larry the wrong way because he insists on bringing his faith into all aspects of his life, including this sales convention. Unfortunately, foul language is excessive, putting a damper on this otherwise fine character-driven drama.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Lions Gate Films, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90036

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (21) times - Mild 9, Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (20) times - F-word 10, s-word 7, other 3

Profanity: Many (17) times Regular (G 1, GD 5, JC 6, J 1, C 1, Swear to G 1, C sake 1)

Violence: Once Mild (men push each other around)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (reference to sex)

Drugs: Many times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Discussion of important life themes - what makes life meaningful, the place of religion in life and business, the human tendency to ask about God

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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