Written and directed by the Coen brothers (Fargo, Raising Arizona, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) The Big Lebowski tells the story of Dude Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), a peace-loving hippy who is mistaken for the titular millionaire Lebowski. Because of the mistaken identity, a couple of ruffians end up trashing his house, roughing up the Dude, and relieving themselves on his rug. That act of urination begins a chain of events that will leads the Dude and his friends into a twisted adventure.
After a meeting between the two Lebowskis, the Big Lebowskis trophy wife Bunny (Tara Reid) is kidnapped, and Dude is chosen to relay the ransom money to the kidnappers. The Dudes pal Walter (John Goodman) comes up with another plan, and by the time the plot begins unraveling you (and everyone else in the movie) will be wondering just whose side the Dude is on.
The Big Lebowski consists of a decent plot with several twists and turns, but relies heavily on character actors for its entertainment. Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Julianne Moore all put on interesting performances, which like a magician, divert the audiences eyes away from the pretty unbelievable plot. In that aspect, The Big Lebowski stands more as a character study than a true narrative.
The Big Lebowski plays like a cross between the Coen brothers two most successful films prior to this one by using plot twists like Fargo and interesting characters ala Raising Arizona. It often plays as if it were written by the Dude himself, as so many of the films points, thoughts, and ideas never seem to go anywhere in particular and just when things do begin moving along, someone comes along and clobbers the Dude in the noggin, sending him into yet another musically-inspired acid flashback.
Like Napoleon Dynamite, the most enjoyable thing about The Big Lebowski is that everyone either knows someone like the Dude, or was/is the Dude. In fact, most of the characters in The Big Lebowski are generic and recognizable enough (especially the Dudes circle of friends) that youll probably recognize either yourself or someone else in the group. If youre more into laughing than analyzing plots and like the Coen brothers unique style of comedic characters, youll dig The Big Lebowski.