Feature Review: THE LOBSTER


Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou


For much of my life, I had convinced myself that I hate the genre known as a "romantic comedy," and really what the fuck's to like, right? Guy likes girl (or vice versa), things happen as they get together, and then other things happen making them fall apart, and then destiny steps in and pulls them back together so they can stay that way forever supposedly in eternal happiness. Rinse, repeat and do it again. Sure, some were better than the others, but the formula was pretty much locked in place and grew stale.

But then came the turn of the century brought the likes of two of my favorite films of all time: Punchdrunk Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I convinced myself that rom-coms, just like anything else, can still be done as long as you challenge the tired material and do something new with it. Punchdrunk not only made an actual humanized character out of the typical Adam Sandler on-screen persona, it also managed to pull off a pretty darkly hilarious, action/crime-thriller, character-driven flick disguised as a rom com, while Eternal Sunshine examined what the true meaning of love is, and let it play out in a sci-fi adventure mind fuck. And now in that "doing something new with the material" tradition comes The Lobster.

Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster is a satirical farce of a rom-com that takes on the long-time myths of both couples and the single life, and pokes fun at the ridiculousness of it all from dating rituals to society's expectations to masturbation to being set out to the pastures if you're still single by a certain age... and it also simply fucking fantastic! It's one of the best films I've seen in the theater in some time, hitting every beat one can respect from great writing/acting/directing to beautiful cinematography to artistic vision/statement to just being flat-out fucking darkly hilarious the whole time. And I'm also learning that maybe I was too hard on Colin Farrell in his earlier non-comedic role days, because the more I see of him in these kind of roles, the more I realize this is the kind of shit he was born to do.  Rachel Weisz is brilliant as always, too.  Also, I realize I must now check out more of Yorgos Lanthimos's work.

Go see it as soon as possible. Seriously. Stop wasting your money on the same superhero movies and go see a really well done work of cinematic art instead, huh?

-by Dan Sinclair


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