Study Guide

Lost in Translation Friendship

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Let's address the obvious here: Why is friendship a theme, and not love? The short answer is, love is a part of friendship, while friendship isn't always part of love.

Still with us? Bob loves Lydia, for example, but they sure aren't friends anymore. By his own admission, they don't laugh like they used to. There's no playfulness to their banter, if you can call thrilling conversations (and faxes) about carpet samples banter. Same goes for Charlotte and John. It's hard to tell if she's actually in love with her husband, as it dawns on her that she doesn't know him as well as she thought. She's all in on palling around with Bob from the get-go, though.

Their friendship veers close to becoming romantic, but it never gets sexual. At times it seems almost like a father-daughter thing, which would make romance pretty creepy. At other times, it’s an affectionate meeting of like-minded people in a situation where no one else seems to get it—pretty conducive to instant friendship.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Why do you think Bob and Charlotte "click"?
  2. Are Bob and Charlotte more than really good friends? Are they in love with one another?
  3. What do you think Bob says to Charlotte at the end of the film?
  4. Can Bob and Charlotte have any kind of real friendship after knowing each other for a week and a half?

Chew on This

Bob and Charlotte's friendship is so intense because they both know it has an expiration date.

Bob and Charlotte aren't in love with each other; they both love how the other one makes them feel about themselves.

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