Warm Bodies

R , R, wherefore art thou RRRRRRR?

S ome years ago, the served Thanksgiving turkey interior was 98 degrees. That’s not a misprint.  Nor is it celcius.  Ninety-eight fahrenheit.  I didn’t know at the time. The bird was minced prematurely and then microwaved to “finish.” Now every zombie movie reminds me of that human-body-temperature Thanksgiving meal. Turns out I survived it. Good for me.

Another thing that proved no difficulty to survive was Warm Bodies, my favorite new film of this young year. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie. Juliet (Teresa Palmer) is not. And in Capulet and Montague fashion, they find a love match – that is if he can get over his shy routine and she can get over the fact that he ate her last boyfriend. Admittedly, it’s not a perfect match.

Negatives about dating a zombie

  • Not much of a conversationalist
  • Completely dead “down there,” ifyouknowwhatImean
  • Rarely takes out the trash or mows the lawn
  • Not a great provider
  • Sits on the couch a lot
  • Can’t really tell if he’s listening or just picturing your naked brain

Positives about dating a zombie

  • Loves you for your mind
  • Loses pretty much any argument
  • Guys night out rarely involves barhopping
  • Unlikely to eat the last piece of cake
  • Can teach the dog how to play dead
  • Cold hands, warm heart?

The zombies are at war with the humans. There are grades of zombies, from the guys who almost look normal (“it just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead”), like R, to the skeletal variety, who just need a good killin’. All the undead live –more-or-less-compatibly. R is a zombie hoarder (?!) His herd (what do you call a group of zombies, anyway?  A pride?  A pack?  How about a rot?  I like that one) lives at the airport, a good place for zombies. His “home” for lack of a better word, is an abandoned airplane. He collects things; he’s got a great vinyl collection for an undead guy. This is all tongue-in-cheek. R runs into “best friend” M (Rob Corddry) at the airport bar and they have a conversation which consists of grunts and semi-questioning looks. R narrates as a normal human, questioning his own motives and actions. To psyche himself up to get by a guard – oh, did I mention? Juliet’s father is Grigio (John Malkovich), head of the anti-zombie armed forces – R’s thought bubble urges, “say something human, say something human, say something human.” “How’s it going?” Return to thought bubble: “nailed it!”

Warm Bodies is a strangely deep film.  It is easy to see the metaphor of lack of drive, lack of communication nestled neatly within normal human condition.  What’s the difference between a literal zombie and a metaphoric one?  In Warm Bodies, we see many folks going through the motions of their habits, their jobs by pure instinct.  We laugh because this is a comedy and the reality isn’t far off.  In a way, the entire film is about finding our own humanity which often gets lost in the minutiae of duty and routine.

Outside the exterior wall separating human from former human is a sign reading, “WELCOME TO THE DEAD ZONE. LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE.” And get a load of the balcony scene between R and Juliet. The dividing line between dead and undead is quite Shakespearean, indeed. This prompts the question, “to zombie or not to zombie?”

What world of suck would it be to have military John Malkovich as your dad? I suppose no worse than old man Capulet. That’s just one of many hurdles undead R has to overcome to win the fair Juliet’s still-beating heart. But they’re all adorable. Think I liked this film? You’re getting warmer.

♪Love meat tender
Love meat strong
Love meat on the fly
Just for you, my heart beats so
Much that I could die♫

Rated PG-13, 98 Minutes
D: Jonathan Levine
W: Jonathan Levine
Genre: Zombie Shakespeare in love
Type of person most likely to enjoy this film: Fans of alternative romance
Type of person least likely to enjoy this film: Anti-undead bigots

♪Parody inspired by “Love Me Tender”

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3 Responses to “Warm Bodies” Subscribe

  1. Genesee11 February 18, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Yay, yay. So glad you liked this. I loved the trailer, so when I saw your review pop up on Facebook, I was overcome with dread that your review would skewer my hopes. I shall happily shamble off to view some zombie romance.

  2. Genesee11 March 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Saw this recently and LOVED it. Great storytelling, good commentary on society, quirky love story.

  3. willgirl1910 May 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Hmmm. I totally want to see this now!

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