Movies: Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies, the new film written and directed by Jonathan Levine from the book by Isaac Marion, is a sweet boy-meet-girl/boy-pursues-girl/boy-gets-girl story. Only, in this case “girl” is Julie, a survivor of an apocalyptic happenstance that sees the humans left on earth fleeing roaming bands of zombies. The boy is R (he can only remember that his name began with that letter). The two meet in an improbable way and, improbably, fall in love.

R (Nicholas Hoult) and Julie (Teresa Palmer) learn to get along under very strange circumstances in this engaging movie.
Photo: Jonathan Wenk, © 2011 Summit Entertainment

This is the kinder side of The Walking Dead but that doesn’t mean if you’re a devotee of that AMC series you won’t like this. Chances are, it’s gentle tale of an unusual love will win you over.

R is played by Nicholas Hoult who does a wonderful job of not blinking. With little dialogue aside from grunts, he manages to convey a sweet persona. Julie is Teresa Palmer. She’s intelligent and most willing to accept what most humans would find unacceptable. The two wind up together when the zombies attack her workplace, killing her boyfriend Perry (played by Dave Franco, James’ brother). R rescues her.

The leader of the zombies, M (Rob Corddry) is, like R, accepting of her. The only one who doesn’t accept the situation is Julie’s father (John Malkovich). But this, this is a rom-com and, as such, is destined to have a happy ending. And it does.

Warm Bodies is inventive, and different enough from most movies of this genre — although, strictly speaking, this is the first of a sub-genre, the “zom-com” — that you can pass 97 minutes pleasantly watching it.