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DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine RELEASE DATE (NA): February 1, 2013 RATING: PG-13
CAST: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, et al.
// review by Beverley

A movie to snuggle up with... get it? For warm bodies? Eh? Pfff, fine, just read the review, I'm done here... *slams the door and drives to a Denny's*

A witty cinematic response to such macabre romances as Twilight that throws a few nods to Romeo and Juliet, Warm Bodies was released in 2013. I highly recommend this as the perfect date movie as it has classic zombie action and the charming corniness of a romantic comedy. The film revolves around a young woman named Julia and a zombie who eats her boyfriend's brain gaining access to his memories and, as a result, falling in love with her and abducting her. After she has returned, Julia realizes that she loves this zombie (awww, nothing says romance like Stockholm syndrome) and that her loving him slowly makes him more and more human.

The special effects in this movie are fairly impressive, though sparsely used so as to give the film a realistic feel. From the RomCom standpoint, this film can be overly saccharine at moments (such as when we see the Zombie's heart beat in response to a human relationship) but still very moving. It also suffers from some blaring inconsistencies, but if you are willing to suspend disbelief, it can still be a really enjoyable experience.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this film was the diversity of interesting questions this film invited. For example, what is the role of memory in identity? Do dreams make us more human? What does death mean? What is the nature of love or forgiveness? How do we decide socially who counts as "human" and who does not?

In the film, There were three classes: the humans, the "corpses", which were human-looking undead, and things called "bonies" which looked like skeletons with skin. Throughout the film, corpses and bonies are ontologized as non-human and undeserving of moral consideration. We are repeatedly told by humans that corpses should be killed without consideration. At the end of the film, we find corpses can be cured of their condition, but we only find this because humans and corpses unite against a common enemy, the bonies, who are still ontologized as non-human and undeserving of consideration. None of the characters consider that the bonies may also be capable of recovery or feel any guilt about killing them. I think raises a lot of really interesting questions about the reasons we consider others to be human and about the structure of human social interactions. It especially made me wonder if being human is always defined in terms of some other party on the outskirts of humanity.

I also really enjoyed many of the characters in this film. The actors selected for different roles were well-suited to their characters. Julia especially comes off as an assertive survivor, and thanks to her and her friend, the film very briefly passes the Bechdel test. One thing that I was very impressed by was how the zombie characters managed to make such minimal dialogue mean so much through intonation, facial expression and gestures. This was obviously an excellent challenge for one's acting skills and they certainly passed.

I don't think this is a film that will be close to my heart for years to come, but I do think it was very interesting, enjoyable, and fun. I think it is the perfect movie for a date night, as it has a great balance of action, romance, emotion and wonder that will give you lots to talk about for the remainder of your evening.


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