Who knew that Zombie Love stories could be so much fun?

“Warm Bodies”

Summit Entertainment

Directed by Jonathan Levine

Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton and Rob Corddry

Rated PG-13

3 Stars

A friend called me a few months ago to ask what I thought of the upcoming zombie-romance movie, “Warm Bodies.” I didn’t hesitate to tell her that I thought it looked dumb. She disagreed, saying that she thought it looked fun.

Fast-forward two months and it turns out that my friend was right. “Warm Bodies” is an amusing slacker love story that will make a great date night outing for teens and young adults. It has an appealing cast and a sweet romance at its heart. Throw in a catchy soundtrack and a wink-wink sense of humor about the whole zombie pop culture craze and you have a movie that should win over even its most skeptical critics.

Based on Isaac Marion’s young adult novel, this is the story of a zombie slacker who is only known as “R” because he can’t remember his full name. He spends his undead days doing the whole zombie thing, mindlessly searching for humans to eat while his atypically lucid voice-over narration explains that he’s conflicted about eating human survivors.

Things change when he runs into an armed group of human foragers. He sees a lovely young woman named Julie (Teresa Palmer) and something reanimates inside his corpse of his body. His heart beats. Yes, that’s right, true love is making our zombie hero into a human again.

R becomes Julie’s protector, keeping her safe from the more aggressive zombies known as “bonies.” For her part, Julie has to keep R safe from her father (John Malkovich), who just happens to be the leader of the human survivors.

In case you missed it, this is “Romeo and Juliet,” or “R and Julie” done up in a zombie motif. That provides the filmmakers with ample opportunity to make fun of hipster pop culture while never straying too far from Shakespeare’s love story foundation. I particularly enjoyed Rob Corddry playing R’s zombie friend M. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed R’s very funny voice-over monologue.

“Warm Bodies” also features a very cool soundtrack, with musical artists that range from Bon Iver to Guns N Roses. The zombie storyline makes you reexamine the lyrics to such songs as Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Hearts” or Tom Wait’s “Missing You.”

“Warm Bodies” does still have its problems. The special effect “bonies” aren’t very convincing and I think that the film’s zombie motif is still kind of silly, but kudos to this fast-paced horror-comedy-romance mash up that’s light on the scary stuff, opting to concentrate instead on its amusing and unique romantic comedy vibe. My friend was right. “Warm Bodies” is a lot of fun.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

Reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published weekly in “The Idaho Press Tribune.” He can also be seen locally on KBOI-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

-30-

Runs Friday, February 1

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