It's official. Every possible genre avenue has now been explored as Warm Bodies gives us the first ever (well to my knowledge anyway,) zom-rom-com. That's zombie themed romantic comedy for those who couldn't quite figure it out. Unlike vamp-rom-drams, zom-rom-coms seemed most refreshing. The premise to me was very intriguing, fun and seemingly original; it definitely had a lot of potential (in fact it sounded eerily similar to Z is for Zombie, the novel Nick Miller attempted to write on New Girl, which I also happened to love) The trailer piqued my interest as well, so I was very excited for this film and hoped it would be a bright spot in the midst of the dreadful post Christmas/pre summer movies. AND it was directed by Jonathan Levine...whose last movie happened to be my favorite of 2011, 50/50!
With all the film has going for it, and as unique as it was...somehow, at the same time it managed to feel very bland. Something was off and I'm not quite sure what. It also unfortunately had the curse of having a trailer that pretty much already showed all the best moments. The film starred the very amiable Nicholas Hoult, the boy of About A Boy all grown up (seriously sometimes puberty can do wonders for a boy. See also Matthew Lewis aka Neville from Harry Potter,) as a zombie who stumbles upon love when he eats the boyfriend of a girl he feels an instant connection with. In a way this film is kind of Beauty and the Beast meets Romeo + Juliet meets zombies. She has to find that there's more to him than grunting and staring blankly...an inner beauty inside if you will, even though he eats humans for a living (so on his end he needs to learn how to supress that urge.) Once she sees that inner beauty, then they have to make their two very different worlds (that are constantly trying to kill each other) understand. How will they ever make their love work?!?
She'll probably make their love work by making him clean up nicely...
As I said, I feel like Hoult is likable...and his costar and love interest Teresa Palmer isn't totally bad either. I just don't know that I ever felt the sparks between them...which admittedly is hard to do when one member of the party is supposed to be the walking dead. But at the same time their connection is supposed to sell the whole movie...and it was mostly left to montages that while nice, are pretty low on substance. What little conversation they do have doesn't help much either....since again it is mostly grunting on his end and her trying to figure out what he's saying. Unfortunately, the dialogue in general with his endless inner monologues definitely isn't as smart or as clever as it thinks it is.
That's not to say the film is without it's moments....or isn't generally pleasant. It definitely has some, but they're not as constant or as memorable as I had hoped. I must say I certainly loved Dave Franco, even if his part was too short. Analeigh Tipton also made the most of her part...but unfortunately that comic relief came too far into the movie for my tastes. I mean, like I said...the film overall was a fine enough time waster...but something was just missing. Perhaps it was too much parts zom, and not enough rom or com for me. Zombie movies aren't supposed to mean mindless entertainment! Just because your characters are without brains doesn't mean you movie should be. I know I'm sounding overly harsh...I actually did enjoy the movie for what it was...but if you're looking for something on the level of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead? Move along.....unless you're looking for dollar theater viewing or a nice redbox, because this movie was kind of made for that. EMILY RATING: 6.5/10