I agree. The story takes place over the period of what, a week? There's not much development to be had. I think people sometimes get Character Depth (which the movie has in spades) mixed up with Character Development. Great film anyway.
After watching the movie, I actually thought that the Dude did experience some character development, becoming a little more aggressive and proactive, actually taking charge a little. It's most likely due to his anger at the whole situation he's become involved in, and thus may not be permanent character development. However, compare his behavior in the final few scenes with it in the first few scenes, and tell me you don't see a difference.
He certainly goes go from just being all laid-back and "fuck it" when the Big Lebowski gives him attitude in their first meeting to genuinely pissed off when he discovers that the Big Lebowski stole the money from the children's charity and was willing to let his wife be murdered by kidnappers to cover it up. Then again, as mentioned above this could also be a Berserk Button about stealing from hard-up kids, endangering women and getting him involved in the whole mess.
I know it was for the audience's benefit, many of whom would be unfamiliar with the concept, but why would Walter only now be explaining to Donny what Shomer Shabbos means if he's been Jewish for at least five years, plus however long he was married? I tried to rationalize it in my head as Donny just keeps forgetting what it means, but then why wouldn't Walter scream something like "God DAMMIT Donny, I've explained it a thousand times!"
Walter couldn't count over a thousand. So once he said he'd explained it a thousand times, he couldn't say that anymore, because it was over a thousand and beside Donny isn't that bright and maybe he wouldn't understand it even if you explained in really small words like if he was a kid or something because he's not smart but he's kinda stupid but he's not retarded or anything so maybe Donny hit his head surfing and ended up with a concussion and is just kind of "out of it" because if you have a concussion you can't drink alcohol and Donny never does. Just soda pop.
Um...what? Anyway, to the original poster, it's entirely possible that Donny just never thought to ask before. He has been shown to be a little oblivious.
It's fairly simple—he's just always rolling when Walter brings it up. By the time he sits down, Walter's stopped talking about it.
Almost any time Donny opens his mouth, the response from Walter is "Shut the fuck up, Donny." It's not outside the realm of possibility that Donny has asked before, only to be met with this same dismissal. It's just that this time he happened to luck out and get Walter to answer him for once.
How were Walter/his bowling team able to stay in the tournament after he pulls the gun on Smokey? Smokey obviously reported him, we hear a message on the Dude's answering machine about how it was a violation of league rules and, heck, we even see police rush into the bowling alley after the incident. Were they just able to pull strings to get out of any sort of punishment?
The Dude's true skill (aside from bowling) seems to be being able to talk to and come to an understanding with anyone that's not just hellbent on being unreasonable. It's how he avoids paying his rent, and probably how these situations were resolved. He just talked to the league officials and the cops until they were like "Okay, Dude, but stay out of trouble from now on, okay? See you around!"
Although, if your landlord wanted you to watch an interpretive dance performance as awful as the one in the movie, wouldn't you want a free pass on a month's rent in exchange?
I've always just liked to think that the Dude's bowling league is really hard core. To the point where pulling a gun won't get you disqualified, because, shit, Smokey was over the line!
It's just for fun, but don't you think that Walter, when he points the gun at Smokey, could just have bluffed and joked in order to scare him and forcing him to mark zero ? Yeah, he pulls out the magazine, but it could have been empty.
It's implied once or twice that Walter is more bluster than action, at least with the people he knows, so this would be perfectly appropriate.
He went from roaring and rampaging to completely cowering once the real owner of the car came out; it's only at the end, when Walter stops blustering and shouting that he becomes genuinely badass, calmly biting the ear off a nihilist.
I always imagined Walter as a character similar to D-FENS from Falling Down in that he reaches a tipping point and then goes off against anything he doesn't see as "right". When presented with irrefutable proof that HE is the one who isn't "right", (ie when he smashes up the Corvette), it shatters his entire worldview, and that the "cowering" isn't out of cowardice, it's him having a Heroic BSOD.
How does the Dude support himself? We never see him work! There's no evidence that he's disabled/on welfare!
He postdates checks (as seen in the beginning), convinces his landlord to let him slide on the rent, etc.
Perhaps tournament winners get cash prizes. He postdates checks until after he's won.
I just assumed he was a trust fund baby.
My pet theory is that it was some kind of lawsuit or settlement. If I were to make something up, I'd say he sued Storm (the bowling ball company) for causing carpal tunnel syndrome and they offered a settlement for him to go away. Walter represented him.
How is Walter still wearing his Vietnam uniform in the scene where they drop the fake money? He's...clearly not at his fighting weight.
He had another uniform made to fit him.
One question: why does the main page say narrator is Wrong Genre Savvy ? Because he wears Cowboy outfit? Whee do we see that he thinks he's in a Western?
Got it in one, friend. At best this movie is comedy, with mystery overtones and arthouse undertones. There are no horses, and only one cowboy hat. And he keeps talking in that Southern Drawl about heroes and adventure. Does 'the Dude' really look like a hero to you?
The tone of the Stranger's narration is also that which is typically used in westerns, lots of talk about the prairie and coyotes and whatnot, and talking about the Dude as if he's some mysterious gunslinger in a western who's just ambled into town to sort it out and bring justice instead of the brain-fried hippy that he clearly is.
So...what did the doctor do with the Dude, after he removed his shorts?
I guess he tested to see if the Dude was impotent?
Why did Maude use violence to get the rug back? Why didn't she just knock on the door and ask for the rug?
Because she's a weirdo who doesn't understand basic human interaction, like most other people in the movie. It's partly to show that she's a Hypocrite I imagine. She's very dismissive of her father's old-school rich lifestyle and living in his own little world, while she simply lives her own new-school rich hipster lifestyle in her own little world.