Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), a self-labeled slacker who calls himself "The Dude", is the victim of mistaken identity when two men break in and demand money that his wife owes them. The men realise their mistake - after one urinates on Lebowski's rug.
Lebowski tells his friends, Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) which results in Walter telling Lebowski that he is entitled to go and visit the other - "Big" - Jeff Lebowski in order to demand money for the ruined rug.
As The Dude tries harder to remove himself from ever impossible situations, a combination of his friends and enemies start to create even more impossible situations leading to a chain of events that mean that The Dude may struggle to find the time for bowling.
The Big Lebowski has quite a clever storyline. 'The Dude' Lebowski just wants a quiet life - evident from his employment, or lack of, status - but is constantly irritated by the flies that are his friends and associates who try to make things difficult for him.
As the film dives deeper into it, the storyline starts to become unraveled as each ludicrous situation finds itself an equally ludicrous outcome. Intermingled with elements that verge on the psychedelic, it leads to a very broken film that - in places - is difficult to follow.
Once you wrap your head around each characters role in the story, the humour is rife. It is not a film to be taken seriously, nor it is a film that takes itself seriously. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman make a surprisingly good double act and as you see them in scenes, you realise how good they work together as a team to try and drive the film onwards.
Despite this, there seems to be something missing from the film. The ending is poorly explained, leaving an empty feeling in spite of the hour-and-a-half leading up to it, and it sometimes feels as though characters were thrown in just for the sake of a few cheap laughs.
The laughs were rife, the characters and actors were fine, but the structure seems lacking.