“Warm Bodies” is the film adaption of Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name, and is potentially the most uplifting film about zombies and the most creative romantic comedy to premiere this year, earning $19.5 million in its opening weekend, giving it the No. 1 spot at the box office.
I had rather low expectations, considering I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies. I also was disappointed I forgot to read the book beforehand. However, I am a fan of zombies and was curious to see how a walking corpse could be made cuddly and sweet.
The film opens with a sad, lost zombie who can only remember that his name begins with an “R.” Through a witty internal monologue we learn he actually dislikes being undead. He eventually meets a pretty blonde named Julie, played by Teresa Palmer.
“R” falls in love and begins to mysteriously learn how to be human again. The only problem is Julie’s father and leader of the remaining humans, played by John Malkovitch, does not believe that zombies can change.
The character of “R” is played by Nicholas Hoult, who is comically charming as the lonely, undead zombie, and is probably the most lovable zombie in recent memory.
He provides the audience with a character that they can understand and sympathize with despite the fact that he is not living. He is also hilarious. The film almost satirizes zombies, but in a tasteful and creative way. Hoult’s spot-on acting and somehow funny zombie grunting makes the movie charming and anything but dull.
Palmer, plays “R’s” love interest, and eerily reminds me of Kristen Stewart. Except that Palmer is blonde and shows emotion.
Palmer is a brave character; she stands up to her father and sees the good in “R”, while others would not. In the small running time of only one hour and 37 minutes, Julie manages to play a dynamic character, and not simply a cardboard cutout of a love interest.
Within the movie, there are many scenes of comedy, but as expected those are accompanied by scenes of sadness, as most apocalypse movies include.
These moments were not overly done, but instead provided a sense of believability besides the humor. Dave Franco, who plays Julie’s ex-boyfriend Perry, surprisingly adds a side story that provides a more serious tone, giving the characters more depth.
Additionally, there had to be some sort of villain, since “R” turns out to be one of good guys.
The film creates monsters called “bonies,” which are insanely creepy skeletal creatures who will eat anything with a heart. I previously thought zombies were the most terrifying living dead creatures. I was wrong. The added horror prevented the movie from being too cheesy and will please fans of classic zombie violence and action.
The film is a very creative take on the typical zombie genre, or even romantic comedy genre.
The audience will find aspects of the zombie existence curiously parallel to our own. Without bogging people down with clichés, the story brings to light the human experience in a happy inspiring manner through the eventual friendship of zombie and humans.
Even if you are not the biggest fact of romance, the film will satisfy most audiences and would be a lovely alternative to the typical Valentine’s Day movies.