Over the Line, Smokey! notes with a tear the passing of film critic Roger Ebert, a nerd, and passionate practitioner of his craft.
Here, in a film set at the time of the Gulf War, are characters whose speech was shaped by earlier times: Vietnam (Walter), the flower power era (the Dude) and “Twilight Zone” (Donny). Their very notion of reality may be shaped by the limited ways they have to describe it. One of the pleasures of “Fargo” was the way the Coens listened carefully to how their characters spoke. Here, too, note that when the In & Out Burger shop is suggested for a rendezvous, the Dude supplies its address: That’s the sort of precise information he would possess.
Of course, Ebert, being from Chicago, perhaps didn’t realize that 1) the In & Out Burger was a chain, not a single shop, and 2) that there was no In & Out Burger at that address. But this is greatness.
Two thumbs up.