Some movies have such a big impact on society that until you see them, you’re lacking in necessary reference points. ‘The Big Lebowski’ is one of those movies, and I’m glad to say I finally saw it last night.

Jeff Bridges in 'The Big Lebowski' / Universal Studios

The Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival took place this past weekend and included a Coen Brothers marathon yesterday at our lovely downtown State Theatre. At $10 for an all-day pass, I could have easily camped out there for the duration. But alas, work called, so I had to choose wisely.

Since I know all of the other movies by heart — ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘Fargo,’ and ‘Raising Arizona,’ I decided to invest my time in ‘The Big Lebowski,’ which I’ve never seen before. I know, and I call myself a movie critic, right?

I watched the movie practically nodding to myself all the way through it. “Hmmm … yes … I see now … it all makes sense …” More specifically…

The Dude. I’m guessing this is the time-period in our collective history when people started using “Dude” as a salutation and gesture of friendship: “Dude, I love those new Jimmy Choos” and “Have a great day, Dude.” I never knew where this came from before seeing the movie last night.

The Excellence of Coen Brothers Actors. Sure, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and the like are notable for other works, but you can see they’re really in their element in Coen Brothers’ films like ‘Fargo,’ ‘Barton Fink,’ ‘Raising Arizona,’ ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ and ‘True Grit.’ In a great Hollywood Reporter interview, Bridges calls them the Koan Brothers, referencing the Zen technique of posing questions that have no logical answer. I get that.

The Quotes. I’ve heard some of these lines through the years, but had no reference point for them until now:

  • “That rug really tied the room together, didn’t it?”
  • “I like your style, Dude.”
  • “The Dude abides.”

Would love to hear your thoughts on ‘The Big Lebowski’ and other Coen Brothers movies. Spill ‘em below, but first, watch one of my favorite scenes with a song from Creedence Clearwater Revival…


  1. oh, JANE. I’m not even a stoner and this is one of my absolute favorite movies. Don’t know if you’re a Veronica Mars fan, but Rob Thomas and the writing staff are big Lebowski fans (heh), and they tried to sneak in as many lines of dialogue as possible into lots of episodes.

  2. Well,Jane, you’re not the only one who (up until now) didn’t see this movie. I haven’t either…and why not? I have no idea how/why I missed it. Netflix here I come!

  3. I’m one of those people who adores the Coen Brothers movies. They create hilarious comedies and blackly funny dramas. The Dude, the “funny looking fella”, the vision of a despondent Holly Hunter surrounded by socks, a Depression-era George Clooney waking up and instantly being clutching at his hair and pomade, the Coens are amazing at memorable vignettes and lines that burn into your brain.


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