Study Guide

Lost in Translation Dissatisfaction

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No actor at the start of their career clasps their hands to their chest and exclaims, "One day, I'm going to shoot whisky commercials in Japan." But that's where Bob's career is at: wearing mascara and shilling for Suntory 5,000 miles away from home. No matter how many glasses of whisky he tips back, he feels empty and totally unfulfilled.

Charlotte, fresh out of college and married young, is equally unhappy. She's aimless, restless, and frequently pants-less as she hangs out in her hotel room like Rapunzel locked away in a Park Hyatt tower of boredom and withdrawal. Bob and Charlotte both desperately want more out of life, so when these two lost souls meet each other, it's perfect timing.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Both Bob and Charlotte are transitioning from one phase of life to the next. How would you describe where each one is and what they're moving toward?
  2. How does Tokyo contrast with Bob and Charlotte's feelings of emptiness?
  3. If Bob wants to be doing a play so badly, why doesn't he do a play?
  4. Do you think Charlotte got married too young? Does John know she's so restless? And what's with all the sweatbands?

Chew on This

Charlotte's dissatisfied with her life because she's too immature to even know what she wants, philosophy major or no.

Bob's finally happy at the end of the movie because he's learned to embrace the unknown.

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