Lost Girls and Love Hotels is an interesting adaptation that explores the relationship of two damaged and unlikely lovers, but outside their relationship the rest of the film is utterly bare.
Alexandra Daddario gives a great performance as Margaret, an American expatriate who lives in Tokyo, Japan as an English pronunciation teacher at a Japanese flight academy. She spends her time outside work socializing with her other expatriate friends at bars, often leading to her getting belligerently drunk and seeking out random sexual encounters with random men at any of the city’s love hotels.
Daddario has these wonderful eyes that allow her to be so expressive without saying much. Margaret has a fractured home life that has caused her to go to the other side of the Earth to be alone. The film does a disservice by not diving deeper, much of this movie is very surface level, and while you sympathize with Margaret – her behavior slowly gets tiresome and abhorrent because her motivations don’t appear strong enough.
One day Margaret meets Kazu (Takehiro Hira) a Yakuza enforcer and the two begin an improbable romance. The film’s really only major strength is the believability of their relationship. Kazu is engaged to be married more so out of duty than love, and is deeply damaged in his one way, by living a checkered and violent life. Alexandra brings the tenderness out of Kazu and forces him to see life in a different light.
Lost Girls and Love Hotels is also beautifully shot, putting the unique cityscape of Tokyo and its color palette to good use. But the movie just isn’t memorable. It doesn’t go deep enough. The climax was extremely underwhelming. It’s a so-called thriller with little to no thrills, that I would instead define as a steamy atmospheric and erotic drama. Fans of the source material may want to check it out but overall this movie appeals to a very small base.
Lost Girls and Love Hotels Trailer
Lost Girls and Love Hotels is now available to rent or buy.