FBMR - The Big Lebowski
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) ***1/2

Joel and Ethan Coen, who write, direct (Joel), and produce (Ethan) all their own films, are as quirky as you can get, and their films still manage to be relatively mainstream in Hollywood. This film is no exception to the rule. They take a couple of generic plot elements and quirks them up with some oddball characters, some of whom seem to be there simply for comedic effect and don’t advance the story along, but that’s a minor point.

Jeffrey Lebowski, a.k.a. “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges) is mistaken for a multi-millionaire of the same name (“Lebowski” ... not “Dude”). The Dude is a very likable, deadbeat, white Russian-drinking stoner whose initial concern is to have his rug cleaned or replaced by Lebowski the millionaire because the thugs who thought he was the millionaire urinated on it ... and “the rug really completed the room, man.” The Dude then gets involved and tangled up in various webs of deceit concerning kidnapping, ransom drop-offs, theft, death-threats, and a bowling tournament.

As with most Coen Brother films, this one is not for everyone. You have to have a quirky sense of humour and appreciate their style. I loved this movie. I thought it was a real hoot. The writing is slick, the acting is terrific, and like most auteurs they have cast some familiar faces from their other films. The Dude cracks me up, and the rapport between Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) is priceless. Keep an ear open for the line “Dude, where’s your car? ... Where’s your car, Dude?” Could this have been inspiration for the movie DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR? I had a giggle. Some of the dream/trippy scenes are a bit much for me, but overall it’s up there as one of their best ... then again most of their other films are up there, too.

IMDb - The Big Lebowski