The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski. Polygram Filmed Entertainment 1998

Before watching the movie:

Once again I’m watching a classic favorite, that I’m sure many readers have seen. This blog is as much about me catching up as it is about recommending new ideas. For those who haven’t, find out with me if it’s worth anything. For those who have, find out if I agree with you I guess.

The Big Lebowski is one of those cult favorites that it seems you either like it or you haven’t seen it. Everyone says it’s brilliant, and I’m here to see how right or wrong they are. At the very least, it’s a comedy, so it should be a worthwhile two hours.

My thoughts after the break.During and after the movie:

Jeff “IN A CAVE!” Bridges is The Dude, an unemployed slacker who just wants to hang out, live his life, and bowl with his buddies John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. A couple of thugs beset him by going to the wrong Jeff Lebowski. They pee on his Oriental rug before figuring this out, and he goes to the “right” Lebowski to get restitution. Lebowski’s wife gets kidnapped, and Lebowski asks The Dude to make the handout, throwing him down a crazy rabbithole of money, theft, mystery, and shut up Donny.

The dialogue is very realistic, perhaps too realistic. At times, the characters speech is so muttered and spacey I have a hard time believing people really speak like that. It makes for some very funny, human lines, though not all that quotable.

Characters in general are exaggeratedly quirky in a way that is believable on the surface. Bridges and Goodman disappear into their roles, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is hilarious as rich Lebowski’s assistant, but Buscemi just disappears.

The end drags out to the point where I have to wonder if it’s a joke, and at least the closing monologue is. Only a couple main plot threads are tied up, and new elements get thrown in at the last minute, making an absolute mess, in my opinion.

Overall, I guess this is a memorable movie. It stands out in a mostly positive way, but I think it doesn’t live up to the hype. Maybe if I were more a fan of White Russians and fine rugs that totally go with the room?

See this movie: or just abide with it, man.

Don’t see this movie: if you’re out of your league, Donny.

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