I am pretty surprised, actually, that the number of critical essays on The Big Lebowski to be found in a cursory JSTOR search appears to be “one,” and maybe not all that surprised that the number of worthwhile critical essays on the same is “zero.” Here’s the link to the one essay I did find that discusses the film directly (it’s on JSTOR, so you need institutional access to view it). It’s laughably badly written academese that says almost nothing interesting about the film itself but does feature lovely footnotes citing Derrida and Heidegger. My favorite part:
I read The Big Lebowski in order to think through the problem of narratival , or mythic violence, and how, ultimately, to interrupt myth in the exterior world of Bush, Hussein, and the Persian Gulf.
Man, there sure are some lovely trees around here, but where the heck did that forest go?!
In other news, by the end of the weekend I plan to have an essay up about A Serious Man, in which I will try to place it in the broader context of the Coens’ canon and also try to persuade people that it’s a good movie worth watching.
 Goddamn it, we already have a fine word for this kind of thing. That word is “narrative” which can be used as either a noun or an adjective. You don’t need to tack on an awkward ending to show everyone how smart you are.
Addendum: if you want to see what an actually insightful review sounds like, you can read the very next thing I found on JSTOR, which is a review of O Brother Where Art Thou? by none other than (in cooperation with two others) the inestimable Tim Kreider, he of “The Pain” comics. Kreider, by the way, is a terrific film reviewer in general, and his writeup of Eyes Wide Shut is fantastic.