Reviewed by: Jeff Hurley
|Featuring||Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Peter Facinelli|
|Producer||Kevin Spacey, Elie Samaha, Andrew Stevens|
|Distributor||Lions Gate Films|
Kevin Spacey stars with Danny DeVito and newcomer Peter Facinelli in this fine film—one I think is the best one of the year thus far.
Directed by John Swanbeck and shot in a single room, this is an actors movie. Since the setting is essentially inside a hotel room with brief scenes outside the room, one would expect it to be visually boring, but the exact opposite is true.
With limited scenery, Swanbeck makes use of the drama in the actors’ eyes and facial expressions to maximum effect. The three men are salesmen for an industrial lubricant company and have descended upon Wichita, Kansas to land a potentially huge client—referred to as “the big kahuna”.
Spacey (who produced as well, for his new production house) is amazing in this movie. Shot in merely sixteen days following Spacey’s wrap on “American Beauty”, a great film was quickly formed.
DeVito delivers a roll that at first seems rather one note, but by the end it’s clear this could be his single most killer contribution to film as an actor.
Facinelli acts as the young newbie salesman with no experience and gives the world weary Spacey and DeVito characters a contrast that serves the dramatic tension well.
It’s about the bond between men and the subtle force aging has on someone. “Pretty soon you have people throwing you a surprise party and handing you a cake with 50 candles on it”, DeVito intones to Facinelli before giving him some of the best advice he’ll ever get in his life.
The interaction between the two secular salesmen (Spacey and DeVito) and the obviously dedicated Christian (Facinelli) is brilliantly written in an intelligent manner than offers up both sides from the point of view of a sales pitch in a motel.
Easily one of the best movies of 2000, it’s clear Spacey and DeVito are two of our best actors working today. Not one to miss!