My favorite comedy of all time, bar none. So Jeffery Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is not someone who has chosen to go by the handle that his parents have provided him. Instead, he simply goes by the Dude. When he gets mistaken for a millionaire by the same Christian name, he soon finds that his rug has fresh urine stains on it. This is a movie about him trying to get compensated for his rug and finding himself smack dab in the middle of a crime story. There are two types of people in this world: people who love the Big Lebowski and people I do not understand. This is a film I view as being perfect, and I still laugh out loud every time I give this a spin, even though I have seen this no less than two dozen times.
I will always think of this movie every time I see Jeff Bridges for the remainder of his career.
This movie is brilliant for all so many reasons. For one, the script is masterfully penned. This is the Coen brothers at their absolute best, and I admire how they can write characters having a conversation with one another, when in actuality, they are talking about two completely different things. There is a repetition with dialogue, like how the Dude’s vocabulary is composed mainly of items he heard discussed in a previous scene, and it really gets you in the mindset of this character. He is a drunken stoner to be sure, and the way that he just ambles through life is just something that puts me at ease, even though I already know how this story is going to play out. The trifecta of the Dude, Walter and Donny make up some of the best scenes in an already excellent film. There is a rhythm in speech patterns, and it slays me every time. Even all of the side characters are fully memorable, and there isn’t a movie out there that does quirky characters better than The Big Lebowski.
Case and point.
This movie is infinitely quotable and I can reference scenes line for line with my eyes closed. I’ve seen this movie so many times, I notice things that most people do not, like how a third of this movie takes place in a bowling alley, and yet, the Dude never bowls, or who Walter is REALLY talking to when he says, “Life does not stop and start at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit.” Every single scene stands on its own and is perfectly connected in an overarching story, which is a feat to behold. I love watching the gears turn in the brains of every single one of these characters, and I have yet to watch the Big Lebowski where it doesn’t put a giant smile on my face.
The Big Lebowski (1998) *****
– Critic for Hire