The Big Lebowski is a comedy slash crime film from the Coen brothers and it’s quite a good one at that. The film stars Jeff Bridges as The Dude, an over the top lazy slacker named Jeff Lebowski who is mistaken for the millionaire Jeff Lebowski by the mob and attempts to set things straight. From the very beginning we are introduced to the wonderful character that is The Dude when he walks into a grocery store and pays for one carton of milk with a check. When he gets home he is attacked by two men who proceed to ask him questions and even pee on his rug. They mistook him for the millionaire and, pushed by his best friend Walter (John Goodman), goes to the millionaire looking for compensation for his rug which “really tied the room together”.
At this point the Dude steals a rug from the billionaire and meets his wife on the way out. His wife is played by Tara Reid and when she gets kidnapped the millionaire Lebowski and his servant Brandt (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) ask the dude to help get her back. They entrust him with money for the ransom and the Dude takes Walter with him and together they go to the spot to try and pay the ransom. The entire plot is twisted and hilarious which goes deeper and deeper as the movie goes on so I’ll just stop here and say that the story is excellent.
The acting is also above par. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman in particular give incredible performances, Bridges as the ultimate slacker and Goodman as the Vietnam veteran who is the definition of awesome cinema bad asses. However besides those two they throw in Steve Buscemi playing the timid Donny, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the eager servant Brandt, and Julianne Moore as the artistic Maude. The supporting cast is indeed star studded but none give more memorable small roles than John Turturro who play s Jesus, a rival bowler that is also a registered child molester. Turturro plays the character so well that it actually makes you believe that he could do well in his own movie. (Not Turturro but the character of Jesus could have his own movie.)
While the plot may not have sounded anything like a comedy, the Coen’s dark humor powers through it and delivers one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Whether the Dude and his posse were bowling or Goodman was shoving a gun in someone’s face for a foul I found myself completely involved. This movie has incredible acting, writing, directing, and made me laugh almost throughout the movie. I think it is the best Coen Comedy (A fact that may change with Burn After Reading, but it will be hard) and one of the best films of the decade. It deserves a spot on my DVD shelf and I’m going to look into buying the tenth anniversary edition as well, I recommend this to any one who would like to see a great comedy and give it a 4.5/5