Photo by BODIES-FANPOP.COM
Remember when we feared the living dead back in the 1960’s George A. Romero created a film that instilled a fear in the American movie watching public that would ring through decades of good and bad zombie movies. I am referring to the ever classic “Night of the Living Dead.” Fast forward nearly fifty years and we have the romantic, cute, and pretty funny “Warm Bodies” directed by Jonathan Levine. Being a huge fan of the zombie culture, I had to check this movie out.
The movie opens up with our protagonist undead hero, simply called “R” (Nicholas Hoult), wandering around an abandoned airport. The audience learns that R wants more out of life than he is given even though he is undead. We also see that R has a buddy named “M” (Rob Corddry) and they communicate through grunts and moans, even getting an occasional word out.
Eventually, R encounters his love interest, “Julie” (Teresa Palmer), and vows to protect her from the hungry zombies and “bonies” without getting the urge to devour her flesh. The movie blatantly refers to the timeless love of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with both main character’s names having twists on the classic protagonist’s. Not only that, but Julie’s father, Colonel Grigio (John Malkovich), tries to tear their love apart. Well, can you blame him? His daughter fell in love with a living corpse.
Zombies can also relive memories of the dead after consuming their brains (Yes! Finally a real zombie characteristic!). However, it has more of a sentimental value because the undead can no longer dream or sleep. This allows R to experience Julie in a whole new light, because he kills then eats her deceased ex-boyfriend. How charming!
Forbidden love is what keeps life interesting and with Valentine’s Day coming up, “Warm Bodies” makes for an adorable romantic comedy for couples of nerdy and zombie obsessed alike. While I will say Nicholas Hoult is quite the British cutie, I will be frank: the acting in this movie is bland. The jokes are funny when delivered, but most of the film consists of watching the human and un-human connect on a borderline “Stockholm Syndrome” level which is creepy. It’s like watching “Beauty and the Beast” when you’re older and realizing that Belle fell in love with a monster both literally and metaphorically.
While movies like “Twilight” and “The Notebook” have sappy qualities and engaging romances, R and Julie’s quest for true love is actually optimistic. You feel good about the two of them ending up together, rather than having a half-hearted “yippee” at the end of the movie. I would say if you have nothing better to do on V-day than to go watch movies and know that your loved one may eat you one day, then “Warm Bodies” should be on your to-do list.