Parents' Guide to

Lost Girls and Love Hotels

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Seedy BDSM sexual drama has nudity, language.

Movie R 2020 97 minutes
Lost Girls and Love Hotels Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

It has lots of sex, but this movie is about as sexy as the other modern-day BDSM movie, Fifty Shades of Grey -- i.e., not sexy at all. Hanrahan adapts her own slow-woven novel about a broken woman living on the edge in Tokyo, painting a portrait that suggests that living loose -- drinking, smoking, hooking up -- is pathetic rather than appealing. While the idea that Margaret is a walking trainwreck is crystal clear, Margaret's pursuit of dangerous sex comes off as questionable (although some might see it as intriguing). Adult viewers may well translate Margaret's run of random hookups as a sign that she's troubled, but teens won't necessarily see it the same way.

Novels are great at exploring complex characters who deal with their pain by acting out, and it's impossible not to guess that there was much more to Margaret and Kuzu that got left on the page (certainly that must be the case for her two drinking buddies, about whom we learn almost nothing). We're only given nibbles of conversation between the two -- and a one-sentence glimpse of what Margaret is running from. She's emotionally aimless, and despite the notion that she's so utterly alone by choice, we're given no idea why she feels so empty. That said, the appeal of this unromantic romance is how love blooms: Margaret and Kuzu don't judge each other on their lifestyle choices, and seeing that two highly flawed characters can find someone to love may offer promise to those who haven't.

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