I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about this new movie called “The Lobster” staring Collin Ferrell and Rachel Weisz. I haven’t seen it yet, and I would like to, but from what I have heard about the plot there are a couple issues I have with the film. To my understanding, the movie takes place in a dystopian future where single people are hunted like dogs, and in order to survive, you must be in a relationship. Collin Ferrell goes to this weird retreat in order to find a girlfriend, but the rules are if you don’t find someone after 45 days, you are turned into an animal of your choice. Collin knows from the beginning that if he doesn’t succeed, he would like to be turned into a lobster, hence the name of the film. Evidently, he chooses a lobster because they “mate for life.”
No they don’t. That’s fucking stupid.
When you grow up in the city, there are a lot of field trip options for kids, like museums, historic landmarks, or cultural institutions. But I grew up in Maine, where our field trip options were far more limited. If it was nice out, we would go run around in the woods like a bunch of animals. But if it was cold, typically our trips had something to do with lobsters. I can’t tell you how many trips we took to the local lobster hatchery, and learned all about the life cycle of some sea spider. So when I say that lobsters don’t mate for life, I know what I’m talking about.
I’ve been told there was an episode of ‘Friends’ where Phoebe Buffay schooled everyone on lobster love. Unfortunately, Ms. Buffay was miss-informed. Maybe Collin’s character watched that episode and was inspired to spend the rest of his life in crustacean matrimony. However, when he hears how lobsters actually do it, he is going to be disappointed…
Here’s how it works. Dominant males will stake out a territory and make a little nest for themselves to lord over all in their domain. If another lobster wanders in, the dominant male kills and eats the other lobster, because they’re cannibals. (This is why lobsters wear those little rubber bands on their claws. Fishermen don’t give a shit about the tourists’ fingers, but a tank full of lobsters will kill each other.) Females can only mate just after they’ve molted their shells and are very vulnerable to being eaten. So, in order to do it without dying, our lady lobster will have to use all of her feminine wiles to seduce her mate.
First, she sprays her pee all over the male. This calms him down, and allows the female to enter into his nest. (Seriously!) She’ll hang out for a week or so, banging and getting preggers, and once her shell has hardened, she takes off never to return. The reason why she leaves is to give the other female lobsters in the area a chance to get laid by the dominant male. As soon as one goes, there is another female waiting to pee all over the male. If the male isn’t capable of fertilizing all of her eggs, she’ll take off and find another lobster who is man enough.
It may be a cute movie, and an interesting premise, but lobsters are not monogamous. There are a bunch of animals that are, like bald eagles, beavers and termites. Perhaps the movie should have been called The Brolga Crane. (I don’t know what that is, but it does mate for life, though!)