Dudes For Thought

There’s no two ways about it – modern life is stressful. With deadlines dictating our waking lives, constantly rushing from one meeting to the next with barely enough time to cram a lightly toasted goats cheese panini down before the 4 o’ clock colonic, it’s safe to say we could all use a lesson on how to chill.

And who better to teach us than the crusty kings of ‘do it later’, the surfer duuuuuude. So, in celebration of National Windsurfing Week – our twelfth favourite watersport – we have compiled a list of the greatest ever spiritual dudes to have imparted their chilled pearls of wisdom on the big screen.


Nobody epitomises the unburdened, ‘live for the moment’ attitude of the dude more than the man himself. The Big Lebowski’s Dude is a walking, talking, smoking philosophy about what really matters in life. Happy to mooch around in a dressing gown drinking White Russians, in his own words the Dude “bowls, drives around and has the occasional acid flashback.” Reportedly, Jeff Bridges who played the Dude didn’t have to stretch himself too far to find his inner stoner, and still prizes the chunky-knit sweater that he sports in the movie. Score!


To be fair you could take your pick of Keanu movies depending on the kind of dude you want. For Rocker Dude see Bill and Ted, Dentist Dude watch Thumbsucker and for Kung-Fu Dude it has to be The Matrix. However in 1991’s Point Break Keanu spends a considerable amount of time being a genuine Surfer Dude. Sure Johnny Utah may have been a Fed, but the kind of Fed that drawls, “caught my first tube today, sir.” The rest of the film is a narly examination of The Man vs The Dude. Hear Keanu’s final anguished cry, “nooooooooo” when he finds somebody has smoked the last of his Durban Poison.


I’m not totally sure what this film was really about. On one hand it could have been an animated retelling of Homer’s Iliad for a postmodern generation with a subtle commentary on the shifting nature of home, but then again it could have just been about fish. What I do know is that an uptight fish dad called Marlon learns a thing or two about parenting from a laid back shell-dweller who espouses an enlightened approach to raising offspring. I was totally baked.


Say what you like about smooth talking sex fiend Douglas but he is aging better than a well stored cask of Hennessy Cognac. Who could begrudge the Hollywood legend the 25 year age gap between himself and high maintenance pouter Zeta-Jones when he’s been in such classics as Wall Street, Basic Instinct and Traffic. Charlie is a washed up jazz musician convinced there’s gold in them thar… supermarkets.


Despite the unbelievable carnage and huge body count, True Romance remains one of the most romantic films ever to come out of Hollywood. And inspirationally, amid all the chaos and the drugs and killing, Floyd remains an oasis of stoned zen. Apparently Brad Pitt’s portrayal of muddled Floyd was inspired by a former flatmate who continually promised to buy cleaning products to make amends for being stoned out of his mind. Pitt also found the rasta hat he wears in the film on the street. Dude!

Jack McKay