A film of ideas becomes a melodramatic romance, muddying its social commentary in the process.
As with The Bachelor, The Lobster is a smarter, sicker, and more calculating than it leads on.
David (Colin Farrell), recently dumped by his wife of 11 years, is the newest guest of heartbreak hotel.
He's emotionally fragile, a little pragmatic, and, much like a reality contestant, more interested in winning this game than finding true love.
Couples that struggle to resolve their issues are often assigned a child to help them fix their problems; the tweak is so twisted and hilarious, I can't believe ABC hasn't tested it in the real world.
Inside the hotel, The Lobster benefits from a gradual unveiling of its rules and internal logic, a structure the film lacks in the second half when its scope expands to the singles society in the woods.
If The Lobster, the first English language film from director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) had a Hollywood elevator pitch, it would have to be "The Bachelor reimagined as art house cinema." As it is, The Lobster is a very non-Hollywood film about society's obsession with relationships, set in an alternate reality identical to ours, barring a crucial adjustment.
Single adults — be they single by choice or by circumstance: solitary, divorced, or widowed — are shipped to a hotel where they must find a suitable mate within 45 days, or be turned into an animal of their choosing and released into the forest.
I’m a journalist who’s a runner; a runner who’s a journalist.
But the film moves forward, raising more questions and thoughts, leaving behind whatever it last asked.
David befriends and ultimately competes with the men of the hotel (Ben Whishaw, John C. As on The Bachelor, the guests speak with the rigidity and specificity of performers, seeking the approval of both potential mates and the producers of the charade.
It's the most humane, sincere relationship in the movie.
It exists in contrast with the high -takes contest, as if to ask: what's worse being a dog, or living within the impossible expectations of others.