This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The romantic allegory "The Lobster" is heartbreaking, though not in the way director Yorgos Lanthimos intended — because what's sad is watching a rich, original premise fizzle out as the movie progresses.

In a dystopian world where couplehood is paramount, single people are sent to The Hotel to meet and greet other singles, with the caveat that if a person doesn't find a mate in 45 days, he or she will be turned into an animal. David (Colin Farrell) is one such singleton, arriving at The Hotel with a shaggy dog who was once his brother. At The Hotel, David tries to hit it off with various women, sometimes on hunting trips where they shoot tranquilizer darts at the runaway singles trying to survive in the nearby woods.

Lanthimos ("Dogtooth") splits his narrative neatly in half, with David spending the first hour seeking a mate and the second hour on the run with a woman (Rachel Weisz) in the woods, where the runaways' anti-coupling mandates are as stringent as The Hotel's rules.

Lanthimos and his co-writer, Efthymis Filippou, neatly satirize the societal pressures of mating and the difficulties of finding a soulmate, but the movie runs out of ideas long before it runs out of story.

'The Lobster'

Opens Friday, June 3, at area theaters; rated R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence; 119 minutes.