Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Night Monologue: Get a JOB sir!

Hooray, hooray it's the second week installment of our recurring feature Monday Night Monologue. This one comes from another personal favorite which also happens to arguably be the greatest film comedy of all-time. A film that features, well, I wouldn't call him a hero exactly, but some sort of a man. The movie that made being shomer shabbas cool. The movie that taught us that nobody fucks wit da Jesus. Have you guessed yet?

With all the hyperbole being thrown at No Country For Old Men (of which I will cop to being a part of back in the long ago days of the blog-a whole two plus weeks ago) it might be tempting to forget that the Coen's already have several classics under their belt (I'm thinking Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, O Brother... and some other people like Fargo not so much me). The Big Lebowski absolutely belongs on that list of Coen classics. The film is endlessly re-watchable and ultra-quotable. Every character so rich and fascinating that they could each easily support their own film. Though the twists and turns of plot may be as convoluted as the Chandler inspired plots the film is satirizing the basic set-up is straightforward enough.

Generally affable The Dude (a blissfully chill Jeff Bridges) has had his mellow harshed by nihilist thugs who demand money from him and have the nerve to pee on his rug (which is a shame as it really tied the room together). It turns out that the villains have mistaken The Dude (who used to go by Jeff Lebowski) with crippled philanthropist millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston). Seeking compensation, The Dude confronts old-man Lebowski, the titular Big Lebowski. It doesn't go well. The bit I'm talking about is at 3:53 but you could do worse then watching the whole clip.

Mr. Lebowski: My wife is not the issue here! I hope that some day my wife will learn to live on the allowance, which is ample, but if she does not that is her problem not mine. Just as the rug is your problem. Just as every bum's lot in life is his own responsibility, regardless of who he chooses to blame. I didn't blame anyone for the loss of my legs. Some Chinaman took them from me in Korea, but I went out and achieved anyway. Heh, heh. Now I cannot solve your problems sir, only you can.

The Dude: Oh fuck it.

Mr. Lebowski: "Oh, fuck it." Yes, that's your answer, that's your answer to everything. Tattoo it onto your forehead. Your revolution is over Mr. Lebowski. Condolences, the bums lost. My advice to you is to do what your parents did and get a job sir! The bums will always lose, do you hear me Lebowski? The bums will always lose!
Good lord does Huddleston give good blowhard. Then again the Coen's have a bottomless stable of portly, robust, old, cranky white guys (Huddleston, Charles Durning, John Goodman, John Polito). I laugh every time he gets to the part about the bums always losing. Also amusing is the un-noticed dissonance between "Chinaman" and "Korea." I also particularly enjoy how completely un-phased Bridges is by the whole explosion, it's at best a nuisance, not anywhere near the life changing scolding the real Lebowski thinks he's giving.

Till next time, the blog abides.

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