The Coen brothers know how to make good movies. The Big Lebowski is a bit like their previous dark comedy, Fargo, yet not as dark, a bit more dream-like and illusory.
You have a great cast of characters whose story can be spun off into a movie of his own. There's The Dude, a larger than life alpha male type who seems oblivious to the world around him. He's a bum, a loser, and people look down on him, but he doesn't care cause he's The Dude. Then you've got John Goodman's character Walter, the hotheaded Vietnam Vet who curses and takes impulsive action, ultimately leading to all The Dude's troubles. And there's my favorite character, Donny, who you may recognize as the funny-looking kidnapper in Fargo, a laid back simpleton type who hangs out with The Dude and Walter but is continually and maltreated by them (particularly by Walter). He's obviously not on the same tier as the two alpha males, yet they let him hang around with them. Brilliant casting too, Jeff Bridges as The Dude is genius.
Some of the plots can get incoherent, particularly the Julianne Moore parts. There were also some scenes which I felt didn't have anything to do with the movie. I'm referring to the Jesus bowler and Jackie Treehorn parts. I'm sure the brothers intended for it to have some special significance, which can only be understood on second or third viewing.
I can kind of relate to this film, and I'm sure many others, particularly my friends will like it themselves. Although I would like to associate myself with The Dude character, I'm probably more of a Donny. You probably already know someone who's a lot like The Dude.
Choice of music is very good. There are several short mini musical segways which I enjoyed a lot. It sets the mood and feeling of the movie, and I'm sure there are some pot references in them. Soundtrack would be nice to have. Don't miss the urn/spreading of the ashes scene near the end, one of the funniest movie moments of all time.
What this movie needs is a sequel.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars * * * *
Great cast and very funny.