The respective relationships between the misleading trailers and actual movies for Nacho Vigalondo’s painfully perplexing Colossal and Azazel Jacobs’s fascinatingly perplexing The Lovers exemplify two types of flicks that spawn false advertising, both for the same predictable reason: commercial appeal.
The former constitutes the most common variety: when a movie is all over the place and successfully pulls off none of the disparate, dissonant places it goes, trailer creators focus on the most commercial elements. In Colossal, they sold the basic premise, one of its only redeemable aspects; delving into the rest would’ve unavoidably run into the same problem that the movie suffers from: a profound lack of understanding regarding what it is and what it’s trying to do.
The Lovers, on the other hand, knows exactly what it is and what it’s trying to do, but how does one sell a movie whose intent seems as depressingly dismal as revealing the false superficiality of most relationships’ appearances — thereby implicitly satirizing the sort of late-life romantic comedies that serve as catnip for the geriatric — since complex dissections of superficiality are extremely hard to convey through the superficial means of a trailer? The answer: take the subtly satirical clips and re-edit them to look like the aforementioned geriatric catnip. AARP members may be disappointed when they walk in expecting heartwarming laughter and leave confused by the overwhelming sadness, but at least they purchased tickets!