‘Warm Bodies’: Hollywood’s first zom-rom-com?

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Warm Bodies (2013)

Directed by Jonathan Levine

7/10  PG-13

It’s not necrophilia if they can both talk, right? If I’m right, “Warm Bodies” is just a tongue-in-cheek rom-com about a socially awkward zombie boy falling in love with a living, breathing girl. And a pretty adorable one at that.

R (played by Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie with a conscience. He can think enough to narrate (we get into his head…before he gets into ours). And eventually he realizes that the irresistible urge to eat human flesh is somehow becoming easier to resist. But it’s love, not WARM BODIESveganism. Julie (Teresa Palmer) is his love interest, but unfortunately she’s scared shitless by him. That sums up a lot of college-age relationships. She hates them blurred lines. First, he eats her boyfriend’s brain. Then he says he loves her. Make up your mind already, gosh. Eventually, the other zombies begin warming up to the idea of having a living girl around. But Julie’s dad (John Malkovich) runs the colony of still-living humans nearby. And he’ll kill a zombie before he hears their first groan. “But daaaad!”

Sometimes, “Warm Bodies,” based on the novel by Isaac Marion, is as slow as the walking corpses that star in it. But the story never loses its originality. A romantic comedy about a zombie/human relationship? It’s the stuff of Hollywood comedies. Let’s just call it a zom-rom-com. It’s witty and suspenseful, relatable and genuine. We’ve seen vampires and humans fail on screen, but zombies have recently had a much better track record. **Shameless plug for my review of “World War Z”** And the undead win again.

I’ve always been a strong backer of clichés, so I’m not afraid to say that “Warm Bodies” is a lively zombie rom-com with a lot of heart.

And it’s on Blu-ray and DVD.

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