Ten years ago today, The Big Lebowski, one of the best comedies ever made, was released in theaters. Despite an all-star cast and generally good reviews, it was a a box office disappointment, grossing a mere 17 million dollars- just barely covering it’s 15 million dollar budget.
Not too long after it left theaters came the DVD release, which is how I saw it for the first time.
I woke up at a buddy’s house after a night out on the town and we were sitting in his living room, playing video games, when he mentioned The Big Lebowski. I gave him a blank stare and he demanded we watch it on the spot. I suspect there are a great number of similar stories out there. Since the movie’s DVD release, Lebowski devotees have spawned ‘Lebowski Fests‘ in Louisville (and other cities), and has been labeled the first cult classic of the internet era.
For you young’uns who don’t know, you need to see this movie. The Big Lebowski is a lot like the Beastie Boys, in the sense that you should harbor a certain amount of distrust for anyone who doesn’t like it. To quote a basic plot synopsis from Wiki:
“The film chronicles a few days in the life of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), a burned-out, unemployed California slacker, after he is mistaken for a millionaire with the same name. While not directly based on Raymond Chandler’s novel The Big Sleep, Joel Coen has said that “[we] wanted to do a Chandler kind of story how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery. As well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.”
It’s all in the dialog with this one. It has better quotes than Napoleon Dynamite, with quirkier characters to boot.
So how am I gonna acknowledge this day? I’m glad you asked. The wife and I are gonna get Chinese takeout, put on our rattiest robes, throw in the DVD, drink white russians and recite lines from the flick. I suggest you do the same. Here’s some song selections from the movie soundtrack:
Here is the original trailer for the movie (is it any wonder the movie didn’t draw well?):