Posts Tagged romance
Zombie movies to this point have been action movies, horror movies, even comedies but with the release of Warm Bodies we can add romance movies to that list. Guess we should have seen this coming after all the Twilight movies that took iconic horror characters, vampires and werewolves, and had them fall irrationally head-over-heels in love with a human. Well unlike the Twilight movies, at least Warm Bodies recognizes the fact that it is a comedy.
A brief introduction to the plot of Warm Bodies is as follows: A zombie simply named R (Nicholas Hoult) has been a zombie for he does not know how long and neither does he know how he become one or a life before being a zombie for that matter. On a hunt for food R and other zombies stumble upon a group of teenagers gathering medical supplies for the few still living in militaristic seclusion. While eating the brains of one of his victims he has a vision (the memory of the victim) and falls in love with Julie (the victim’s girlfriend). R rescues Julie (Teresa Palmer) from an attack and takes her to his new home, an airplane decorated in music memorabilia. This spawns a journey that slowly makes R become human again. Click here for the trailer.
Hands down the best thing about Warm Bodies is in the writing. R’s narrative both for storytelling purposes as well as comedic relief made the movie as enjoyable as it was. Since he cannot verbally communicate, his thoughts offer some interesting insight to the mind of a zombie. Wandering aimlessly around at snail pace with nothing to care about other than when his next meal will be, explaining the differences between his breed of zombie versus the boney’s, and wanting to say/do the right thing to impress a girl he just met was done with a lot of wit which I appreciated. I just wish the romance has been as cleverly written.
If you have read my Safety Not Guaranteed review you know that romantic comedies are not my favorite genre simply because a lot of them are over the top “romantic.” What I mean by that is the ninety percent of the time they are too lovie-dovie and sappy. Warm Bodies straddles the line of having a sappy/cheesy beginning. R sees Julie and his heart gives a single beat of potential life. Initially it came off more lustful than love which a lot of movies fall victim to. R lusted for Julie when he knew nothing about her but that changes as he got to know her later by eating more of her boyfriend’s brain (clever concept by the way). By the way it bothered me a little when I thought she was completely in love with her boyfriend Perry but does not dwell on him for long on his death. This illustrated a character flaw I found in Julie.
Julie I found to be difficult to like. I completely see how R could have lusted for her since Teresa Palmer is a pretty lady. But the fact that she was not hung up on the boyfriend she loved being eaten alive foreshadowed a decision she makes later. The part I am talking about is when Julie and R had broken in the suburban home and Julie invites R to sleep upstairs with her but tells him not to look as she changes out of her wet clothes. Naturally he cannot help but look even though as a member of the living dead I doubt he would have been able to get it up. Then the next morning she ditches! Next we see Julie confessing to her friend that she regretted leaving him but takes him in when he shows up outside her window. Two questions popped in my head (1) why did that not creep her hell out? And (2) how could R want to pursue her after she had led him on like that? It made little sense to me.
Maybe the reason I feel that way is I felt bad for R was because he was played brilliantly by Nicholas Hoult. You saw on the outside he was like any other zombie but the inner dialogue and subtle facial tics showed he was doing his best to change what was left of life in his body. Other than him most of the actors could have been easily replace. Not to say they did a poor job but it was nothing special. Palmer was a much better love interest than Kristen Stewart but I don’t think she brought anything to her character that other actresses could not have. Sadly I felt the same way about John Malkovich as her military leader father. The movie was a horror/comedy and Malkovich has proven how funny or scary he can be depending on the role but he did neither in his role. He was just stern and stubborn, a waste of his talent. I should also note Rob Corddry and Analeigh Tiption were solid in their roles as the friends that questioned the legitimacy of the protagonists love but did their best to support it.
My final thoughts on Warm Bodies are that it is worth a watch simply for Nicholas Hoult and the witty take on the zombie way of life. I was not completely sold on the zombie romance of that love concurs all and brings them slowly back to life but it has its cute moments. I give Warm Bodies a 6/10.
So much attention is being place on the superhero blockbusters and raunchy comedies of some fan favorite actors that there are bound to be some quality movies to fly under people’s radar. And this is true every year really. But a few weeks ago I managed to catch a movie that is not receiving too much attention now but it definitely will in year to come, Safety Not Guaranteed. Most romance movies these days are so lovie-dovie that they rarely seem sincere and honestly believable. For example, that latest piece of crap with Zac Efron, it just felt like the “romance” was being forced done our throats (no sexual pun intended). Instead what Safety Not Guaranteed offers is something more genuine with real humor, a true romantic-comedy.
Here is brief set up of the movie: Darius (Aubrey Plaza) can best be described as a loner, maybe even a sad sack, who just cannot seem to find joy in anything since the death of her mother when she was a kid. As an intern for a magazine she volunteers along with another intern, Arnau (Karan Soni), to go with a senior journalist, Jeff (Jake Johnson), to see about an ad in a newspaper asking for a partner to go back in time with. When they meet the source of the ad, Kenneth (Mark Duplass), Darius has to earn his trust in order to know his secret for time travel but finds there is more to Kenneth than his paranoid scientific exterior. Here is the trailer:
If reading this you feel turned off by the fact that Safety Not Guaranteed is somewhat of a romance, don’t be. This is still very much a comedy and believe me there is plenty of it. The reason the romance should not bother you is because it is so well written. It is written in a way that the characters that fall in love feels natural and the development of the characters as a result feels so real. I mean none of the three members from the magazine are there really to report of Kenneth’s discovery. Darius is there to essentially run away from her boring everyday life, Jeff (being the playboy he is) wants to hook up with an old flame from high school, and Arnau given his love for science just wants to know if time travel is possible not necessarily report on it. And Kenneth as socially awkward as he is, you cannot help but feel a connection with him because he is sincere with his mission and his growing relationship with Darius.
These characters, no matter how well written they are, are dependent on the quality of the actor playing them. I have read other reviews that have been criticizing Aubrey Plaza but I thought she was the best part of the movie. Even though Safety Not Guaranteed is about Kenneth’s ad, the movie really follows Plaza’s character and she does a great job of being very bland at the start but shifts to a rounded character be the conclusion of the film. Plus to quote Arnau, Plaza is a “beautiful girl” so I may be a bit biased. Since I mentioned Arnau, Karan Soni rocked as this character. Even if it is an easy role to play, he did not over act and he did not under act but instead reminded you of that smart, quite student in your class that just understood everything the teacher was talking about. Last but certain not least Duplass as Kenneth, initially annoying with paranoia but once he lets his guard down to Plaza you cannot help but pull for him. Plus the song he played on the sitar (lap guitar thing) was really good!
If Safety Not Gauranteed is in a theater near you, I highly recommend paying the money to go see it and hopefully we will get more indie films of this nature in the works! 10/10