In the last 24 hours I’ve been staring into the abyss, reflecting on life’s many quandaries but specifically about being single. Sat in my singleton squalor, I carelessly shovel Turkish delight into my mouth-hole while watching Céline Dion music videos from the ‘90s. She warbles on about her achy-breaky heart and her misfortunate nautical adventures. There were tears aplenty.
You see, yesterday, I
saw experienced, Yorgos Lanthimos’ new black-comedy, The Lobster.
The Lobster is probably one of the weirdest films in cinemas this year. It is certainly the weirdest film in cinemas in 2015 that a mainstream audience could possibly encounter. Its absurd plot begins with David (Colin Farrell) being dumped by his wife. You would think that’s bad but in this dystopian near future, to be single is like LITERALLY, the worst thing EVER.
As soon as David is declared single, two nurses turn up to bus him off with all the other weirdos to ‘the hotel’. David – and his cohorts – are promptly given 45 days to find a partner or they will be turned into an animal. At the very least, they are allowed to choose their animal, however, as the hotel manager (Olivia Colman) points out, people invariably choose very boring animals, which as she astutely observes, is why there are so many dogs in the world.
David decides he would like to be a lobster. In my head, I imagine him being transformed into Pinchy from The Simpsons. The director may have had Patrick Stewart in mind or perhaps even another fictional Lobster. I was going to suggest Sebastian from The Little Mermaid but he is not a lobster, he is a Jamaican sea crab. That’s a crustacean fact, my little sea-monkeys.
Here’s Patrick Stewart dressed as a lobster (Pinchy)…
Happy Halloween. pic.twitter.com/ugLBMzAeNF
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) October 31, 2013
The truly awful, really really awfulness of being terribly single
If we put The Lobster to one side, I think it’s safe to say that being single is pretty rubbish, right? It’s the pits. It’s about as fun as sitting through multiple episodes of New Girl because you’ve been repeatedly told “it’s good” and “it gets better”. Like life, it doesn’t…
I’ve discovered the key to happiness, it’s called scotchy-scotch followed by a warm mug of euthanasia. Kiss my face.
I am of course being über-dramatic. Being single is perfectly fine, naturally, but what isn’t perfectly fine is the insurmountable number of dickheads that singletons have to tolerate. We’ve all had that moment when a friend, relative or occasionally, an absolute stranger offers you their sage advice as to why you’re single. “I’m sorry, do I offer you advice as to why you’re a massive, gaping asshole?” Unless you’re a very close friend or my mother, I simply will not tolerate you. You will cease to exist.
Take a break buy us a coffee
Just because a ‘person’ has managed to find another ‘person’ that will tolerate their weirdness – most evenings and weekends – does not give that person the right to dispense advice as if they’re the reincarnation of the human tugboat of love, Burt Reynolds. It’s judgemental and based solely upon their opinion and experiences. They probably don’t even know you very well and in all likelihood, they probably eat pieces of shit for breakfast. You know, like Shooter McGavin in Adam Sandler’s one mediocre comedy.
In terms of advice, a personal favourite is “have you tried exercising?” I like this one in particular because it’s often recommend as a good place to meet women. Now I’m sure some people do meet each other at the gym and that’s marvellous. That doesn’t mean I’m about to start prowling the gyms for my next potential ex. When I exercise I sweat, and I mean I sweat a lot. And my face turns red like I’ve been sloshing the rouge (red wine) all afternoon. Which to be honest is actually preferable to doing any exercise. I eagerly anticipate my first prescription for Statins but in the mean time, pass me the butter and the booze.
Another favourite is “you’re not getting any younger”. This one is particularly stupefying because it implies that I’ve forgotten the direction in which time flows. As if being single has affected my capacity for thought and somehow, my frequent masturbation has addled my mind. Before you know it, I will have built my penis a small jacket from processed meats and I’ll be blissfully stroking away to my heart’s content in aisle 10, until I achieve the ultimate carcinogenic orgasm. Because that’s what being single does to you, it turns you into a weirdo…
When people find out you’re single, all too often it invites responses that are rude and judgmental – either that or they look at you like you’ve just told them you have a terminal illness. Their comments might be laced with a veneer that suggests your wellbeing, but all too often it’s just an opportunity for said person to feel superior about their own squalid existence.
Be the cougar running free and unfettered through the mountains
The Lobster is about pressure from society to be in a relationship and therefore ‘normal’ but it’s also about isolation and loneliness. What makes Lanthimos’ film great is that it clearly recognises the importance of human interaction, above being in a relationship because the relationships depicted are all toxic. The one couple that does offer a glimmer of hope is tainted by other people’s insecurities.
The film’s characters are all too concerned with finding a relationship because they are expected too – as opposed to finding somebody they can actually love, and be loved in return. The truth is, that’s scarily similar to the world we live in and maybe it’s time we stopped being so judgemental and putting pressure on people to conform. Instead of telling people how to live, let’s just concentrate on enjoying life and leave people to get on with their own wacky lives.
Be the cougar. Be the turtle. Be the rattlesnake. But you can’t be Batman, you might want to be, but you can’t. “I’m Batman.”
The Lobster is in cinemas now