May 7, 2007

The Big Lebowski - $9

Way out west there was this fella I wanna tell ya about. Goes by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. See, this Lebowski, he called himself "The Dude". Now, "Dude" - there's a name no man would self-apply where I come from...

The Big Lebowski opens with the narration above in the low, silky, cowboy voice of Sam Elliott. This begins one of the strangest and funniest movies of all time. I recently watched The Big Lebowski again and I'm convinced that I enjoy it more each time I see it.

Basically this movie follows the Dude, a lazy man in LA who bowls and drinks White Russians for a living. The Dude's life is thrown into chaos when he is mistaken for a rich man with the same name and thugs soil his area rug. The usually laid back Dude is convinced by his friend Walter to demand the rich Lebowski replace this rug as it "tied the room together." This simple act of attempting to get his rug back begins a spiral of more and more problems for the Dude. There is a kidnapping, a lost toe, a death, bowling, a drugging, a ransom hand off gone bad and many more circumstances for which the Dude is the least qualified person on earth to deal with.

I've met people who don't like The Big Lebowski, it's not for everyone and you'll know in the first 5 minutes whether you're going to enjoy it or not. If you don't laugh in the first scene just take the movie out and chalk yourself up as someone who won't like The Big Lebowski. I won't judge you.

For my part I love this movie, I watched it alone most recently and laughed out loud and I've always said that one of the true tests of comedy is whether it makes you laugh out loud when noone is around.

Jeff Bridges is nearly flawless as the Dude and John Goodman performs my favorite role of his career as Walter, the unstable friend of the Dude who is obsessed with his time in Vietnam.

The Big Lebowski makes me laugh with it's dialogue, it is quick and character driven and often 3 characters are having 2 or 3 conversations at the same time. The writing in this movie is only surpassed by the performances of the actors delivering those lines.

All in all what pulls this whole comedy together is the fact that it is well made in every way a movie can be well made. The directing, the lighting, the is all great.

The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite comedies of all time. I put it on my 'Watch It' list and give it a value of $9.


Sheamus the... said...

i love Donnie in this movie. Definitely a classic.

Jeff Coutts said...

Couldn't agree more Dave. Fantastic movie. I've seen this movie almost as many times as I've seen Flight of the Navigator.

Tony Tanti said...

That's a lot of times. Nice to know we agree on something from time to time.

Michael J. Mendez said...

I had a teacher once who confessed to me that she had to watch it a few times before she 'got it' and became one of the film's faithful fans.

And proud we are of all of them.