In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Gleefully dark comedy with a habitual tendency to go meta. That's actually a central point of the plot, which revolves around Colin Farrell's tail-chasing efforts to compose the film's screenplay whilst in the midst of it. We dance around this issue for a bit in the first hour, but once embraced it leads to a number of sharp, bitterly funny conversations and revelations that really help the film stand out as something different. Its jaded, desensitized approach to gruesome violence can be unsettling, but something tells me that's kind of the point. For that matter, so are the simple, shallow characters that pepper the perimeter and the story's rambling, uncertain climax. Farrell is constantly bookended by his cohorts, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, who portray two glaringly colorful characters but don't really bring a lot of depth or flavor to the mix. They're each painted with a single stroke, which could again be construed as part of the film's message... but at some point it's natural to question how many times it can fall back on that ready-made excuse. Funny, black hearted and world-weary, but it feels like too much attention is paid to the undercurrents in lieu of the ocean.
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