The Lobster is a movie about a society where being single is a crime, punishable by being transformed into an animal. Colin Farrell would prefer to be a lobster. I didn’t make any of that up.
“The targets are shaped like single people,” and being anywhere alone will draw unwanted attention. Thankfully you aren’t necessarily arrested if you’re caught roaming around town on your lonesome. Good thing considering the current state of affairs with police relations. #SingleLivesMatter.
Rather, law enforcement makes an attempt to get you help, an unexpected commentary on jail rehabilitation. You are sent to a hotel where you get trained in the art of being in a relationship, learning every antiquated rule on what makes a relationship work and necessary in our lives.
Which is really the joke: trying to apply old modes of thinking in such an evolved world. There are still those who are staunch believers and followers in how relationships worked ‘back in the day’. And with Farrell as the lead, there is express focus on the lessons learned by the men.
Let’s face it gentlemen: society needs us to get our shit together. Granted, it’s the same society that gave us easy access to porn, an app for booty calls, some show called The Pickup Artist, and then questioned where things went wrong. But women would understandably like to go to the bar without us eye-raping them.
It’s not a man’s world anymore, so we have a lot of work to do. But does much of what we hear actually make sense? By my count, the hotel in The Lobster believes in four rules that will prepare men to get back in the game and be good partners to their women-folk.
1. “A wolf and a penguin could never live together, nor could a camel and a hippopotamus.” Because that would be preposterous. Try and imagine a wolf and penguin mating. Did you picture the wolf eating the penguin instead? Me too.
People that are together should have some basic, defining commonality between them. There is little harmony in being completely different from your partner. If someone can’t understand that as a human, maybe they can figure it out as an animal.
Makes sense? Yes, and no. Yes, commonality is the basis of any friendship, and relationships are a unique type of friendship. And yes, a camel could never live with a hippo, at least I don’t think so. But no, it isn’t that simple.
Take a character called “Limping Man” as an example. His parents split apart because his father found a woman that was better at math. The man’s deceased wife had a limp just like him.
It’s a remarkably stupid yet common theme: finding someone that matches a singular characteristic and hoping to make things work from there. We look for people just like us on some level without considering whether that makes a person a good match. So we inevitably start calling the girl that’s better at math.
2. “She jumped from the window from 180. There is blood and biscuits everywhere.” Favorite part of the entire film. Some ratchet-ass female tries to offer Farrell some ratchet-ass sex, which Farrell wisely declines. Said ratchet-ass female then opts to jump out a window.
That’s good, very good, but not the best part. A shaken Farrell acts remorseless in hopes of impressing a “Heartless Woman” known for not giving two fucks about anyone. “I just hope her pathetic screams can’t be heard from my room, because I was thinking about having a lie down, and I need peace and quiet.”
No Colin, you’re lying. You shouldn’t be a poser and trick someone into falling for you. Eventually your lies catch up to you.
Makes sense? Absolutely, especially when the person you’re lying to is heartless. She might kill your dog or something, you never know. Never trick people liable of doing some really wicked shit.
3. “Please place your hand in the toaster.” John C. Reilly’s character gets punished for masturbating, which is not allowed in the hotel. He masturbated to a picture of a naked woman on horse. That’s great.
That’s such old school erotic imagery. Isn’t that what Playboy was built off of? Nude women doing normal shit so you feel like “you know, I might have a chance at someone like that.” Hahahaha … no, no you don’t.
Makes sense? Ehhh. I don’t want to say there isn’t some validity to the idea that not masturbating to porn is beneficial. A difference can be felt. But damn, using a toaster is just savage.
But here’s why this punishment shouldn’t exist. The hotel has their maid service rub their asses against every crotch in residency to see if they can reach an erection quickly. But you can’t pop. You’re stroked enough to excitement, but there won’t be any fireworks.
“That’s awful, just awful.” I agree Mr. Farrell, I agree.
4. “Back then, he didn’t know how much it hurts to be alone.” At one point in the film, it’s Presentation Day at the hotel. The staff does a couple of skits to show the residents the importance of having a partner.
Men are apparently good at ensuring women don’t get raped by shady characters. Women are good at ensuring men don’t choke on their food. Without a partner, those scenarios would turn bad, or in this case comically bad, in a hurry.
Makes sense? Reluctantly, yes. I once read on how socially isolated carpenter ants have a reduced life span compared to ants that operate in groups. The reason? An imbalance of energy income and expenditure. Social interactions help regulate energy balance.
We are those ants, isolated from others, literally being hurt by the loneliness. Life can be very depressing when the only voice you consistently hear is your own. Just ask Randy Orton.
And yes, the presence of a man tends to be a good deterrent for men looking for trouble. And no, you don’t need a woman to save you from choking on food. Just cut your food into smaller pieces.
But being alone sucks. Doesn’t mean you have to leave the house today and find yourself a significant other. But never underestimate the power of just having someone there in some form or capacity.
That’s the point: everyone is looking for someone. No matter if it’s in a hotel, the woods, on a bus getting ready to tranquilize loners, or if you have to lie for it, everyone wants the feeling of someone being there. Here’s the caveat: there are no rules in this.
My father once told me, surprisingly, that college wasn’t for everyone. Surprising because my family did an otherwise sound job of shielding me from such thinking. He told me that while the destination is to gain the knowledge necessary for a career, a four-year university isn’t the only road that can get me there.
There is no roadmap to finding love and/or happiness. You find it however you find it, even if it doesn’t make sense to rest of us, even if it goes against the grain.
We’re all shooting for a similar destination, but everyone’s path is different. Some deal with a lot of obstacles and harsh lessons while others take the more “safe” and traditional route. No road is more correct than the other, and it isn’t a crime if your road happens to be longer.
Well, except in this case, I guess. I would want to be a dog. The excessive petting would get extremely annoying, but at least I still get to watch football on Sundays. Hope my owner isn’t a Saints fans.