Meet The Dude & Walter.

I'm pretty sure The Big Lebowski answers what the meaning of life is... but I can't be sure. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; and it is one of the finest pieces of American cinema from the last two decades (maybe ever). On pure surface level it is a Los Angeles-set comedy, crime caper centering on a slacker by the name of The Dude who gets swept up into a plot thickened by a colorful menagerie of characters who use him as a means to an eccentric end. But it is so, so much more than that surface level riff. It has enough plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub-plots, each filled to the brim with an onslaught of characters connected through various relations like a mad spiderweb, to make your head spin. Add to that the character of The Dude with all his ex-hippie, loose joint traipsing through a life that is filled with quiet moments between trips to the local bowling alley, as he is yanked lower and lower into a strange and seedy underbelly that he neither understands nor wants to be a part of. He simply exists in his present moment and all he ever wanted is a new rug because it quote/unquote "really tied the room together." The Dude's exploits through the City of Angels with his bowling buddy Walter (very much the yang to the Dude's yin) make for the rarest of the rare movies that can be fully enjoyed by either: A) laboriously studying the details and machinations of the plot from scene to scene in an effort to decode the complex labyrinthine heart at the center of the matter OR B) letting your mind off the hook and enjoying an adult beverage or two (or four) and seeing where you are when you wake up on the other side of the brightly-colored, psychedelic rainbow that is The Big Lebowski.

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