Yorgos Lanthimos’s THE LOBSTER begins with an absurd premise – David (Colin Farrell) recently spilt from his wife must go to a hotel where he will have 45 days to find another mate or he will be turned into the animal of his choice – and then spirals into further crazy from there. Under pressure to find someone to love via a series of awkwardly bizarre social gatherings and exercises led by an intractable nurse, the guests either resort to lying to each other or suicide. And naturally, there is a rebel group outside the hotel (led by a militant Léa Seydoux) planning to bring the entire enterprise to its knees because they reflexively forbid emotion and intimacy. Following a disastrous attempt to play by the hotel’s rules, David joins the rebel group and quickly finds himself courting jeopardy again when he falls for one of its members (Rachel Weisz).
THE LOBSTER is pretty much an acquired taste by design – alternately hilarious and horrifying, as well as being the epitome of deadpan. There is a delight to the cruelty and absurdity that will inspire gasps in tandem with giggle fits. However, it is also patently not an “easy” film. Then humor and irony and commentary on how we view the basic responsibilities and “needs” inherent in and desired by those in relationships are not spooned out for those that want the funny to be simple and obvious. If you are gauging your funny meter, this one would be on the other side of the spectrum from anything that has “mall cop” or a “Wayans’ in the cast.