It’s been fifteen years since we were first introduced to Jeffrey Lebowski, better known as The Dude. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
The Big Lebowski, written and directed by the Coen Bros., is a true cult film. It was not beloved by critics at first, but yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, their opinion, man.
Starring Jeff Bridges as a burned-out hippie bowler living in Los Angeles at the start Operation Desert Storm (we’re talking about uncheck aggression here) it’s a clever reworking of the detective genre, most notably the novels by Raymond Chandler.
Mistaken for a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski whose hot young wife Bunny (Tara Reid) owes money all over town, The Dude seeks reparation when goons pee on his rug. Hey, it really tied the room together. When Bunny is supposedly kidnapped, The Dude is tapped by the Big Lebowski to deliver the ransom.
Hilarity ensues, in the parlance of our times. Accompanied by his friend Walter (John Goodman), a Vietnam veteran who makes certain those who don’t follow the rules enter a world of pain, they predictably mess up the money drop. Even though the Big Lebowski emphasized Bunny’s life was in his hands.
What follows is a journey (taken in the laziest way possible) by The Dude through L.A.’s underbelly, where he encounters Nihilists (though they do have a nice marmot), a friend who never knows what Dude and Walter are talking about, a known pornographer who treat objects like women, a cab driver who doesn’t tolerate different tastes in music, a pederast bowler who’s on to bush-league psyche-out stuff, a brother shamus (though not an Irish monk), a reactionary police chief, a joy-riding brat who can’t get better than a D on his homework, and a once-famous TV writer who has health problems.
Oh, yes, and a feminist artist (Julianne Moore) who finds sex (coitus?) a natural, zesty enterprise, and may or may not be his special lady friend. Or maybe he’s just helping her conceive.
At least it’s better than Walter’s love life. 3,000 years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax, and he still can’t get past his sick Cynthia thing.
The Dude’s thinking about the case gets all uptight, but playing one side against the other, in bed with everybody, he uncovers who’s the real human paraquat.
O.K., the story is ludicrous. You can guess where it goes from here. But it does pose one important question: how are you going to keep ‘em down on the farm once they’ve seen Karl Hungus?
Some people have trouble appreciating The Big Lebowski. Que ridiculo! They’re out of their element!
That, or they’re obviously not golfers.
- 15 Years With The Big Lebowski (Infographic) (wpromote.com)
- Silver Screen: On the Film’s 15th Anniversary, Mapping The Big Lebowski (curbed.com)
- This Big Lebowski Chiptune Tribute Is Better Than The F**king Eagles (kotaku.com.au)