My experience was just the opposite. Saw it in the theater, was like “huh, weird. Kinda funny, I guess.” Was only lukewarm on it. But, when I picked up a DVD player, I bought the DVD to watch with my bowling-crazy friend, figured it’d be worth the lark.
The second time through blew me away. TBL is like your crufty friend who, once you got to know him, turned out to be one of the funniest, smartest people you’ve ever met. But you weren’t quite sure at first.
The first time through, you’re just shaking the film’s hand. The second time through, you’re not trying to track the plot, since you already know what happens, and you realize just how fucking genius the characters, writing, directing, and acting really are.
(disclaimer: Lebowski is one of my favorites, so I’m a little biased here. Wait, no, it’s one of my favorites because it’s great)
“Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, but at least it’s an ethos.”