In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, the establishment is often represented by a fat man in an expensive suit. “The bums will always lose!” shouts the expensively suited Jeffrey Lebowski. As the titular character of The Big Lebowski, David Huddleston’s blustery, self-important philanthropist — with his plaque-covered vanity wall, his obsequious personal assistant and his young trophy wife — is the perfect establishment foil for Jeff Bridges’ pot-smoking Dude, “the laziest man in Los Angeles County.”
In a meandering narrative of California dissipation, influenced as much by Raymond Chandler as by Cheech and Chong, the Dude is confronted with kidnapping, embezzlement, carpet theft, auto immolation and toe dismemberment. And, as the man says, “Let’s not forget that keeping wildlife — um, an amphibious rodent for, um, you know, domestic — within the city … that ain’t legal, either.”
But the film’s unexpectedly warm heart is the Dude’s relationship with John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak. Polar opposites, they squabble like an old married couple but still show up at the lanes for league night. Drop in and see what condition your condition is in when the Screenland Theater (1656 Washington, 816-421-2900) presents The Big Lebowski at 9:45 tonight (and the fourth Friday of each month).
Last Friday of every month, 9:45 p.m. Starts: March 30. Continues through Aug. 30