This movie is SO CUTE!!!
It’s basically Romeo & Juliet with zombies.
No. Seriously. It’s Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet as set in The Upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. The zombies are kinda the Montagues and humans are sort of the Capulets. The couple is even named “R” and “Julie!”
Or, put another way…
A funny new twist on a classic love story, WARM BODIES is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world. (Summit Entertainment)
OK, here’s the deal… R (Romeo) is one of the living dead. He has a wonderful inner monologue going about what a drag it is to be a zombie. R encounters Julie (Juliet) and the two fall in love. As they do so, love begins to turn R human. And it’s contagious. His best friend, M (Mercutio), catches it as do the others.
Mayhem ensues when… Julie’s dad (John Malkovich), top army commander guy who is hellbent on saving what is left of humanity from the living dead, doesn’t get the warm and fuzzies about his sweetie pie falling for a walking corpse. He refuses to acknowledge that the zombies are curing themselves. He continues to pursue and kill* them relentlessly. But Love has the power to transform!
My two cents… This is the latest in a series of ZomCom (Zombie Comedy) films, one of my favourite genres. It does not disappoint. The romantic angle is important, as you would expect from a movie based on Romeo & Juliet. But unlike other ZomCom movies like Shaun of the Dead where a relationship between Shaun and his girlfriend is an element of the movie or Zombieland where a flirtation and possible relationship in the making sometime in the future is a cute scene or two, Romantic Love is front and centre in Warm Bodies. And it works! Nicholas Hoult as R has mastered and perfected the soulful stunned ‘deer caught in the headlights of love’ look. He is irresistible. Teresa Palmer is adorable as can be as the confused and conflicted Julie. John Malkovich is a total Über-Dad as Julie’s military boss father. But my favourite is Analeigh Tipton as Julie’s friend Nora who probably has one of the cutest lines in the movie. “I wish the internet was still working so I could just look up whatever it is that’s wrong with you!”
RottenTomatoes.com gives Warm Bodies a 76% freshness rating. Usually, for me, this is the ‘kiss of death’ movie rating but in this particular case, it’s bang on!
“Though R’s mind is nimble in (very witty) voice-over, out loud he can only express himself in a series of groans and grumbles–as touching a metaphor for love-struck adolescence as we may see at the movies this year.” (Christopher Orr – The Atlantic)
To call this an unlikely love story is an understatement, but it is precisely this level of weirdness that makes the romance between R and Julia so surprisingly touching. (Tim Martain – The Mercury)
Bottom line… WATCH IT! No, really. You HAVE to watch it.
* We seriously need to come up with an appropriate word or expression for ‘killing’ a zombie. The problem is, of course, that they’re reanimated corpses. How do you kill something that’s already dead? I’m working on it but so far, all other words and phrases just aren’t working out for me. I’ll keep you posted.