Warm Bodies for the ZomRomCom Win

Honestly, I should have seen Warm Bodies on opening weekend. It's a far better film than its February release implies. As I said when tweeting my review of Die Hard 5, February is a movie wasteland. Working off that metaphor, Warm Bodies is a budding flower in that barren expanse. Why, I dare say it's a slowly re-beating heart in the midst of a horde of shambling undead. 

I'm not a fan of romantic comedy, and the eyelash battings and clumsy fumblings of young love don't stir these old bones anymore, but for this movie I'll make exceptions. Zombie romantic comedies are A-Okay by me.  

If the zombie films of the '70s and '80s are societal mirrors in reflecting our fear for what we then saw as a growing racial divide and an inexorably rising tidal crime wave (an analysis that is not original to me) then Warm Bodies is a societal mirror in which the global village of early 21st century is represented by the humanizing of those previously demonized, a warming up to those aliens who now live on the website right next door.

It's also a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, complete with his-and-hers best friends, irreconcilable warring families, and a balcony scene. The difference, of course, is that this ends better. Yes, you can still have a retelling if the ending is different. That's half the reason to retell something in the first place. "I don't like how Romeo and Juliet ended, so I'm going to do one where the story starts with Romeo ALREADY DEAD."

Warm Bodies comes in at #2 for me this year, which is an interesting trend. Usually the first film I see in a calendar year is an absolute stinker that drops like a rock, but we're almost two full months into 2013 and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has held steady at #1.