The Big Kahuna.. Someone please explain (spoilers)

Has anyone seen this movie? I happened to catch it on HBO last night at like midnight. Being a big Kevin Spacey fan, I decided to stay up and watch it until about 2 in the morning. Maybe I was just tired, but I totally did not get the ending of this movie… Here come the spoilers…

They send Bob off to talk to that guy at the private party, and after he gets there all he does it talk to him about Jesus… WTF?!? He doesn’t ever bother to give him the business cards or anything… why did he totally disregard the entire purpose of him being sent there? When they later confront him about the whole thing… he really doesnt have much to say, or does he give a solid explanation for his actions. What the hell is that all about? After that the movie just ends… they barely say anything, and they dont give any sense of closure on the topic.

Now I know that this movie must be some sort of front to get across a “bigger” point. Something more closely related to the Jesus aspect of the plot, but I totally missed it. If Bob was there to learn and participate in this seminar, why would he completely blow off his entire reason for being there? Ugh… it just drives me insane that he did that! Someone please enlighten me.

I’m not sure I’m going to really answer your question, but I’ll give you what I got out of this movie. (which was completely different than I thought it was going to be)

It seemed like the whole point of going to this seminar was to make the “big sale” that was going to save the company. Those guys were ready to do whatever it took to tackle that guy & make their pitch.

So here you’ve got the new guy talking to the head honcho about Jesus. Not pushing the company, not trying to make the sale, just talking to the other guy as a human being about something they were both interested in.

It seems like sometimes you’ve got to quit trying so hard & just build relationships and friendships in order to win business.

Note: I’m making an assumption that I don’t think gets resolved, and that is that this young punk’s friendship and discussions will eventually get them the account in a way that the 2 veterans never would have accomplished by being cut throat businessmen.

That’s what I figured, anyway. Not sure if that’s true, or whether it answers your question, but that’s how I resolved it in my head.

Its been awhile since I saw that movie. First of all, I thought the kid (Owen Wilson?) did get the big sale the next morning.

I took it that the movie was exploring more about how Christianity is practiced in America. Evangelism is another form of sales. The kid found a hook, the dog, and introduced death which lead to talk about the afterlife and Christianity. While the kid had good intentions, (saving the guy’s soul from eternal damnation) he lost focus of why he was there. He could have at any time talked about the sale and got it wrapped up quick to get back to their main discussion. Instead he cared only about witnessing.

The other thing it touched on was the Christian ideal of marriage. This is one of the things that Kevin Spacey blows up over. He’s remained faithful to his wife but looks at the occassional porn. He can’t accept the Christian idea that even lusting for another woman is committing adultry. Danny Devito character provides further contrast by being the one who is divorced.

I liked the movie because I thought they did a fairly honest portrayal of real people, how they live, and how they interact between people. It isn’t often that movies try to look at what it actually means to be a born again Christian in a “secular” world, especially the business one. Plus I thought the actors interacted well with each other.

See… I don’t think I made that assumption. Right at the very end of the movie they show Bob talking to the guy again and Larry walks by. And even then they seem to be “just talking”. I don’t think he ever really had any intention of talking business with the guy. That was why I was so aggravated with the film. It just drives me absolutely bonkers that he would throw away a huge business deal to talk Jesus with the guy! I guess I’m much more like Larry is in this film.

I thought the young guy’s thing was that his christianity and witnessing to that guy was more important than everything else including the job.

It has been a while since I saw the movie too. Here is IMDB link and the young guy is Peter Facinelli.

I didn’t think the movie was focusing on Christianity in particular, but as I think about it maybe it was.

I thought the movie was trying to compare Larry’s selling of his product with Bob’s selling of religion. The point being that in many ways, they are both the same. Regardless of the supposed good-intentions that Bob had, he was no better than Larry. Both would like to convince The Big Kahuna to buy something. And in doing so, they compromise the honesty and integrity of the relationship.

I really liked this movie.

I loved the movie. But I was getting distracted during the exchanges between Spacey’s character and the kid. I kept thinking, “Oh my God, it’s like they took the script directly from Great Debates!”

I agree with CaveMike’s assessment of the movie.

Been a while since I saw the movie, but IIRC, the kid didn’t know he was talking to the Big Kahuna. The guy had shown up to the party under an assumed name tag, broken up over his dog’s death, and didn’t want talk business. And the kid was respecting that. Whereas Spacey thought the kid should have tried for a sale no matter what, even if the guy wasn’t the Big Kahuna. I got the impression that Spacey was just generally pissed off that they hadn’t made the sale at all, and he would have ended up shouting at somebody for something, the kid just happened to provide the best target.

I like CaveMike’s assessment, but don’t entirely agree with it. At least not without another viewing. I thought that the movie was presenting a pretty postive picture of Christianity.

(Presenting a pretty postive picture? Dig that crazy alliteration, man!)

He didn’t talk about the sale there. Instead, he connected with the guy on personal level. I think at the end, Spacey’s character realized that this would eventually get his company the business.

When you connect with clients on a personal level, they are much more inclined to trust you, and bring you their business.

this movie was brilliant.
I’d like to point out that this movie was nothing but dialog. You’ve gotta have some really good writting and acting to pull that off.

My take on the movie was that they were making a comparison between the hardline religous (represented by the kid) and the most everyone else who take a more relaxed view of religion. It really got to the heart of what makes those two groups of people different. It touched on a lotta issued I have with religion. I didn’t like the kid, as many people like that, I feel come off acting like they’re better than everyone. But I have to say that I did get a sense that in the end, he was probably the only that could’ve made the sale.

I just saw this last night, and missed the very end because of a phone call, but I loved what I saw.

This is actually a play written by Roger Rueff. It was titled Hospitality Suite, which would explain its emphasis on dialogue and not changing locations.

I liked that movie. The thing that I took away from it was Danny’s character’s speech about the kid becoming just another salesman with a different portfolio.

It reminded me of so many things that happen in the church, and how fake it looks when you try to buttonhole people. They expect it about pure business, (“Let me tell you why our punch press makes theirs look sick”), but when it comes to something like religion, you have to know the person actually wants it. That usually means knowing him/her well beforehand.

OTOH, the kid, IIRC, didn’t just totally leap into it, and the BK was very receptive.

I also think that he does have a moral responsibility to bring the conversation around to the sale sometime, but I guess we never find out if he does. Maybe the writer wants us to speculate over whether this ends up being a total waste, as the sale is never even discussed, or a triumph of long-term relationship making.

I’d have to see the end again to really get back up to speed. I too think that it was very nice to see a Christian on the screen who wasn’t just a jackass.

( spoilers ) bob is the big kahuna, he likley wanted to get to know the people he was going to do buessness with, the exlusive party he went to was for him, evrybody knew him exept thoes at the hotel, when kevin’s caricter enters the hotell lobby and looks at him he realizes this truth and that is likly what the moive is about, that people are not what they seem, I like this moive especelly the philosophy and realism.

Since I just saw this film the other day, I’ll just reopen this zombie thread rather than start a brand new one.

Why would the movie be about that? That would just be putting in a stupid twist for it’s own sake. This isn’t M Night Shyamalan. Plus didn’t they already know who Bob was from work? I’ve been on plenty of business trips and it would be a bit far fetched for a total stranger to just insert himself as part of my team.
The whole point of the movie was that Bob (Peter Facinelli) was no more trying to “get to know” the Big Kahuna or “connect with him on a personal level” than Larry (Kevin Spacey). Bob kept steering the conversation towards Jesus and in doing so was being a hypocrite. It’s fine to connect on a personal level with your clients. But at the end of the day, they are there to do a job. If the Kahuna didn’t really want to do any business, why was he at the conference? Not only was Bob not doing his job. He actually just sort of made up his own job.

As much as it is a critique on religious proselytize, it is at least as much of a critique of businessmen who try to cozy up to potential clients by pretending to be interested in them. One of my personal pet peeves is when I’m at a trade show and have some rep approach me out of the blue and call me by my first name in a tone as if we have known each other for years.

I believe the nod at the end was because Larry saw Bob talking to the Kahuna and knew he finally “got it”.

What I’m trying to figure out is Phil’s phone call at the end after Bob leaves the room:
Phil Cooper: [speaking on the phone] Hello?
Phil Cooper: No, you, you just missed him.
Phil Cooper: What’s that?
Phil Cooper: I love you too.
Phil Cooper: Yeah.

“Him” I assume is Larry, which leads me to believe that Phil was having an affair with Larry’s wife. This theory is supported by the following facts:

  • Phil has been pretty morose the entire film. This is what has been eating him up inside more so than the sale or his divorce.
  • Phil’s need to have a heart to heart about honesty and character with Bob (as opposed to a more traditional “get your head out of your ass and do your job” speech).

Although I just read another theory is that it was Larry calling up from the lobby to talk to Bob. And that the “I love you” was left over from their earlier conversation. Which actually makes a lot more sense in the context of the film.

Yeah, I’m pretty certain it was this. Larry was calling, subdued or upset, to apologize for losing his shit ( however legitimately ). He maybe wanted to talk to Bob as well, but mostly he wanted to apologize to his friend Phil and tell him that he did actually love him.