My enduring memory of The Big Lebowski is this: upon its video release, the owner of the video store where I worked said something along the lines of, “That is just a fantastic movie, but it’s a shame about the language. I’m not sure I remember the last time I’ve heard the f-word so many times.” I took it home, enjoyed it very much, and when I was asked what I thought of the language, I had to say, “Uhhh. I didn’t notice.” Truth be told, the F-bomb is used somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 times in The Big Lebowski (comparable to Scarface), but in a movie this good, who’s counting?
Nine years after that initial movie viewing, I wish I could recall more about the plot of this bizarre Coen Brothers gem. Basically The Dude Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is mistaken for The Big Lebowski (David Huddleston), and hijinx ensue as he seeks restitution for his (mistakenly) defiled rug, which “really tied the room together”. What follows is a hilarious, often surreal caper that has snowballed in popularity over the years. If there’s any question as to the film’s cult status, look no further than Lebowski Fest—a celebration for fans held in cities throughout the country. There you can bowl, dress as your favorite character, and quote lines with like-minded fans. OR, if you can’t make it to the fest, you could check out this fabulous new book by its creators.
I’m A Lebowski, You’re A Lebowski is the ultimate fan guide to the movie, and includes interviews with just about anyone who had anything to do with the film… with the exception of the elusive Coen Brothers. Jeff Bridges provides the Foreword, and all the major players from John Goodman to Tara Reid offer their thoughts on the film. There are nifty quizzes, like “How Dude Are You?”, and the book basically takes fandom to new levels. Want to meet the real-life inspirations for the characters in the movie? These boys have got you covered. Wondering what exactly what’s going on at the 55 minute and 18 second mark? Look no further.
Despite my distance from the film, I’ve been lugging the book around faithfully and enjoying it immensely. The freaky fan love is almost as likable and amusing as the movie itself. Whether you’re a devoted fan or a casual admirer, I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski is a fun read for everyone.