Quite simply, this is a cult classic film that is always a joy to watch. There are some films that no matter what your favorite genre is, or what generation you are from, you have to take the time to enjoy. Its complete work withstands the test of time, and no matter how many times you watch it, you are always entertained. The fact that it is a comedy makes it that much more impressive. There are a few exceptions, but generally speaking, the quality of comedies is better in the older comedies than in the more recent ones. There are a lot of different interpretations that can be made about this perspective. Obviously humor is a significant part of a comedy film, but there is much more to it than that. The story should also be great, and audiences should care about the characters. People like to have connections with characters in films. The message of a movie is well received when you care for the characters in it. Bridesmaids and The Hangover are just two examples of recent comedies that were very successful at the box office. More importantly, they both developed large fan bases. In other words, people cared for the characters in those films, and shared similarities with those unforgettable characters. What is not to love about the characters in The Big Lebowski?
Regardless of the genre, a film needs to have great characters. These characters are brought to life by the actors who are portraying them. The greater the character, the more people will love and respect that character for years to come. For a film to be considered a cult classic, that is a big deal. That means that a majority of people will agree on the greatness of that movie. Hopefully, when you think of great films, you think of the protagonist. Well in this film, Jeff Bridges delivers such an amazing performance as The Dude. His personality, sense of humor, and his ability to rise to the occasion when needed are incredible. He may not be the big Lebowski as the title says, but he certainly proves that he is the bigger Lebowski throughout the film. However, there are still other characters to love and care for. Whether the role is big or small, there is an emotional connection that you feel with every character in this film. Something that people should realize when they watch movies is that if you really do not like the villain, then he or she is doing her work very well. Villains are not meant to be cheered for. On the contrary, they are meant to be despised or hated by the audience. Then there are the characters with very small roles; you care about these characters so much that you think about how they will contribute to the end of the film. These emotional connections with the characters in this film are due to the brilliant film making of Joel Coen.
The writing for films is something that can be so tragically overlooked. Even years after watching a great movie, if you paid close attention, you remember certain phrases and movie lines. Part of it has to do with the fact that the acting was done so well. So it is easy for you to remember your favorite actor saying his or her lines so graciously. What people can easily forget is the screen writing. Behind all the actors, make-up, sound effects and lighting, music, and other things, people may forget about the writing that goes into making the film. We get so caught up in watching the actors perform, and we lose ourselves in the film as things start to get interesting. However, credit is due to the outstanding writing that makes the film move so effortlessly from start to finish. If you notice, it is the movies with great screen writing that feel much shorter than what their actual running time is. It feels that way because the lines just flow so quickly but easily out of the actors. Now when you have such great writing that is also funny at the same time, then you are in for a real treat. It is a film that you will want to enjoy again and again.
You cannot say enough about the impact of this film from a cultural standpoint. It’s The Dude’s language, behavior, and way of living that is very appealing. Obviously you do not idolize movie characters, but there are things about them that influence your sense of self and who you are. It is the mentality of aspiring to be someone that you are not. There is nothing wrong with wanting better things in you life; that is totally natural. However, you have to make the best of what you have. If you do not love yourself and what you have, then you will get very frustrated as you look for ways to improve. There are certain habits that people can change, but you cannot change who people are. We change and adapt to different obstacles and situations that life throws at us, but essentially, we are the same people that fight off the storm.
Jeff Bridges shines as the iconic Dude in this film. He may not have received any Oscar nominations for his work, but it is a performance that everyone loves and remembers. It is a great addition to his impressive resume, and you just hope that you will get to see a similar performance in the near future. John Goodman is absolutely hilarious in his supporting role as The Dude’s right hand man. They are joined by Steve Buscemi who fits right in with the two lead actors in forming a great trio of friends and bowlers. Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman also deliver great supporting role performances. They are great examples of how no matter how big or small the role is, you care for the characters in a film, and they make it very special and enjoyable. This is a cult classic film that is so deserving of a spot in your movie collection. So when you are ready for a good laugh, and thirsty for white russians, then all you have to do is watch The Big Lebowski.