Quick Thoughts on ‘The Big Lebowski’

Last night I finally saw the modern classic The Big Lebowski. It was not good.

I admit, I laughed a good deal. And for about the first half I was enjoying it. Then I started to realize that the film wasn’t going anywhere. Or, if it was, it wasn’t anywhere good. I don’t think I’ve seen such an empty film before. Indeed, the pointlessness of it seemed the chief joke; that the characters just stumble through meaningless and heartless events surrounded by directionless and heartless characters. As it drew on to the conclusion, it seemed to drag on longer and longer and grow more and more nihilistic and mean-spirited. It was like a friend at a party who starts off being funny and exuberant, but as he grows more and more inebriated as the night goes on starts ranting about the Jews or shouting about his ex-girlfriend and becomes unbearable.

It reminded me a bit of Gravity Falls: a show that I mostly enjoyed while watching, but which left me similarly empty and with a mildly bad taste in my mouth. But that show at least had some honest-to-goodness heart to it, even it was strictly limited to the main characters. And it was a lot funnier. Lebowski started off funny, but grew less so over time as we slowly realize that it’s not going to give us anything. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a pot-high: feels good at the time, but has no substance and ultimately leaves you a little emptier and a little bit of a worse person than you were to begin with.

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