The Big Lebowski — Love it or hate it?

Last night, during a protracted and productive drunk writer talk session, a debate arose about The Big Lebowski and Coen brothers’ films in general. I sense this may be a future dwt topic as strong well argued views were heard on each side…

But I thought I’d toss it out to anyone out there… Hate that film, or love it? It seems to be a polarizing one.

Me? Any movie, with fascinating well-developed characters I enjoy watching, entertains me… Sinead? She likes a tightly told story. And, well, tightly told it ain’t. What role in the overall story did Julienne Moore’s bizarre artist character play???

In writing popular and genre fiction… we’re told to make every scene count, make every character serve a purpose, make every line of dialogue, every subplot, well, everything serve the core story.

I think this is great advice and makes for a page-turning book… BUT… I’m still entertained by movies and books that don’t do this, too…

I guess what I’m not entertained by, are movies and books that aim to be genre or popular but break these rules… (or even follow them so obviously they make the writer-in-me roll her eyes.) But put facsinating, well-written characters whose lives/world I can get sucked into, in literary fiction or an indie film , and I don’t care about the story so much… A few of my favourite films/books, I can barely remember what they were about… just that I loved the characters.


  9 comments for “The Big Lebowski — Love it or hate it?

  1. August 19, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    You already know my thoughts, but hey, just in case..

    HATED IT!!!

    I’ve never walked out of a movie, but came tightrope close with that one.
    Was bored silly. Which is the worst crime a movie can commit for me.

    No plot, no reason and the characters are pulled along by events without ever taking a proactive approach to anything.

    But I am more plot driven for almost everything.

    I can almost understand why some people would like the movie.


  2. August 20, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    Loved The Big Lebowski…only Cohen brothers movie I can watch. Unlike many, I hated, hated, hated Fargo. Thought it was insulting to the characters and had whole scenes that didn’t progress the story.

  3. August 20, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Gina… You know that was the debate… Whether we liked movies that had scenes that didn’t advance the plot. Me? I don’t mind as long as I’m interested/involved with fascinating characters. Sounds like you would’ve sided with Sinead on this particular debate.

  4. August 22, 2006 at 4:49 am

    Haven’t seen it. But guess what, it’s on TV tonight…. how spooky is that???? If I watch it I’ll report back. It does clash with Extras and Boston Legal so don’t know if I’ll get to it!

  5. August 23, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    You’re gonna laugh at me.

    Coen bro films are hot and cold with me.


    Raising Arizona? LOVED IT

    Barton Fink? SHOOT ME.

    Fargo? LOVED IT!

    Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Didn’t like it the first time, now I LOVE IT!

    The Ladykillers? TOTAL CRAP.

    Weird, huh?

  6. August 23, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Mel, I’m not 100% on their movies either… I didn’t like Barton Fink much… but have been thinking I should try again.

    The Ladykillers was tres silly… but I must say I was entertained.

    Molly reminded me that they also did Millers Crossing. Awesome movie. Awesome. Another one I must see again. Can’t even remember now why I loved it so much. Just remember that I loved it.

  7. August 27, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    This is definitely a guy movie. Everyone I know who loved it is a guy. The females I’ve asked said they hated it. I’m kind of in the middle. For me, a big movie buff, it was fun to watch one time (CRACKED up when Donny’s ashed blew back on Lebowski) and that was enough. It’s not one of those movies I see on the guide and go, “OH, I’ve got to watch that again!!” = )

  8. August 27, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    FARGO is one of the best movies ever. Takes a sicko (like me and Mel!) to laugh throughout that.

  9. September 4, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Liked it prety well, but not with the abject love my fiance has for it. LOVED barton Fink, as should any writer. “I’ll show you the life of the mind!” Brilliant.

    And Loved O, BROTHER, too. Actually, I think I only liek hte Coen movies with John Goodman in them. they do such amazing things with him.

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