I found this movie's tone similar to Fargo, a not bleak version of the mentioned film. Like Fargo, this also has a fantastic cast line up headed by Bridges and John Goodman. Even most of the bit players made their mark onscreen, from Julianne Moore's nonchalant character to Philip Seymour Hoffman's assistant, even down to John Turturro's limited screen time. Even the movie's atmosphere is very relaxed that it just seems to look like Goodman, Bridges and on occasion, Steve Buscemi are just hanging out and spewing their lines like it's no big deal - they look the part and play the part convincingly.
I didn't know much about the movie when I watched it, except that there's an iconic character and it seems to be mostly in a bowling place. The turn of events doesn't have to be a strong point because the characters are drawing one in to see the piece. Their performances are enough and the plot seems to fix itself as the movie progresses. I also didn't know that Moore was here, and while I haven't seen a chunk of her filmography, I wonder how eclectic her work choices seem to be because she's appearing in films I don't expect her to be and she nails it. I wonder why she hasn't been working with this great talent pool recently.
This is the part where you might hate me. I don't understand the appeal of The Dude at all. What made him an iconic character? Is it because of his nature through all the events that had transpired? Is it because of his pacifist-yet-not-pacifist characteristic? I don't understand what made him such an iconic character, that he's the one always mentioned when the movie is talked about. I thought that the movie was fantastic because of all the characters involved, but not necessarily just him.
It also features a great script that was given justice through the performances. This aged well, and a must-watch comedy that deserves its praises.