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The Big Meal follows a young couple, Nicole and Sam, from first date to first fight, their first kiss to their newly wedded life at a single restaurant table. The years pass and Nicole and Sam start building their own family--a son and daughter--who come enthusiastically and then reluctantly to family meals at the restaurant. Sam's parents visit and accompany the family on their big meal tradition. More years pass and the children become adults with families of their own, as other loved ones fade away. Both familiar and surprising, and observed with aching accuracy, The Big Meal shows a family in all their embarrassment and heartbreak.

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