What makes us human? Is it our ability to think and act, to live and laugh, or feel and love. This question and the later likely answer is surprisingly one of the themes to Warm Bodies – the ZomCom featuring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, in theaters now.
Now I dubbed it ZomCom because 1) it’s the genre most used to describe the book by Isaac Marion that inspired the movie, and 2) I think its just one of a handful of romantic comedies featuring zombies coming our way because now that Twilight is over, teens need some new walking dead being to swoon over. I mean hello, check out one of the movie images left – Twilight anyone? Even the so called big actors like Brad Pitt are getting their zombie on, with the soon to be released World War Z. That’s not a romantic comedy, but you get the drift. Zombies are the next big business for studios.
I’ve never been into zombies. Ever. 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later scared the hell out of me. There’s something about the dead walking around in a decomposed, brain eating state that’s never sat well with me. But apparently zombies are en-vogue. Guess if I watched Walking Dead I’d know better. That show is fever pitch. But I digress….
I saw Warm Bodies this weekend and while it wasn’t my first choice (sometimes that darn Fandango is hard to navigate, i.e. I screwed up on the movie times!), I liked it. It was for the most part a comedy, but there were a couple of moments that made you think beyond the lunacy and blatant mockery of the teen targeted supernatural love genre films, and ponder with a little more seriousness about the importance of the human connection.
Nicholas Hoult’s narration of main character R is comical , but it also (if you are in the mood to read beyond the first crush premise) gives the viewer a serious glimpse at what it means to be human – to have hopes and dreams and thoughts and fears and ask the question what, more than anything, at the end of the day, makes us human? The answer – love. The notion of love, the ability to love, and being in love.
I’ve always liked Hoult. He was incredible on Skins — the original version on the BBC, not the self indulgent, train wreck version MTV introduced most American audiences to — and I hope we see more of him in years to come. It looks promising in that department, with Hoult starring in films getting a lot of marketing push in 2013, including Jack the Giant Slayer, Mad Max: Fury Road, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. And Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four) wasn’t completely insufferable as R’s love interest Julie. Of the younger actresses out there I can actually stand watching her and she and Hoult make a good looking couple. I hear he and Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence broke up. So maybe…
Another surprise was the soundtrack, which wasn’t filled with indie tracks, as has been the case with recent teen supernatural franchises, but classics like Guns n’ Roses “Patience,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart,” the always classic “Missing You” by John Waite, Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm,” and M83’s “Midnight City” to name a few.
While the film is yet another “Romeo and Juliet” twist — Shakespeare should get some kind of post humous kick back for how many plot lines his plays have inspired in the supernatural love story genre — it was a fun flick that wasn’t too serious after a pretty heavy week, and made me laugh out loud more than once. For that, I recommend it. You can probably wait until it hits video, but I like supporting little movies that could.
Since the moment it debuted M83’s “Midnight City” has been a favorite on my playlist. So, what better way to wrap up my review than by sharing the official video for the hit, not to mention one fun note for Hoult fans: the song comes at a great moment in the movie. Hoult in the shower. You’re welcome.