Warm Bodies this past weekend. Though not for everyone, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Funny. Sarcastic. Irreverent. Meaningful. And yes, romantic. My husband called it schmaltzy, thinking the feel good, all-you-need-is-love message was a little heavy handed. I can see where he's coming from, but I have to disagree. I think the schmaltzyishness is the point. It's supposed to be heavy handed. It's supposed to be over the top. When you're bringing the dead to life and creating a romantic hero out of a rotting corpse, I think you have to take the message over the top. At a certain point, there's no reason to play it safe. When you're reenacting Romeo and Juliet using militant, gun-toting teenagers and zombies? Yeah, the time for playing it safe and subtle has passed.
If you haven't seen Warm Bodies, I recommend it. If you have seen Warm Bodies and have a hankering for some more movies that blend zombie horror and comedy with just a touch of romance, here's a list of my top 6 (why 6? why not?) for your viewing pleasure.
6) Serenity (2005). Fine, fine, it may be a bit of a stretch. Okay, it is a stretch. BUT look at the Reavers and tell me they don't have some zombie characteristics? They aren't technically undead, they aren't technically dead, but the cannibalism and total death of their humanity counts. Add in the lovely blend of action, snark, and sexual tension Joss has built his career around, and I say Serenity has a place on this list. And, given that it's my list, I can do what I want.
5) Fido (2006). It's like Lassie, if instead of a collie, Timmy's faithful pet was a lumbering male zombie named Fido. And even though Fido is a good boy, you know sooner or later he was bound to slip his leash and bite that nosey old neighbor. How will Timmy get out of this one?
4) Dance of the Dead (2008). Who hasn't wondered what would happen if zombies were to invade the high school prom? Dance of the Dead actually explores the question.
3) Planet Terror (2007). One half of the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse double-feature, Planet Terror has bio-weapon zombies and Rose McGowan with a machine-gun leg. Really, I think I've said enough.
2) Zombieland (2009). Forget Columbus and Wichita, the main romance here is between Woody Harrelson's Tallahassee and a much sought after box of Twinkies. It's a thing of beauty. As is Bill Murray's cameo. This movie just makes me happy.
1) My number one choice, and all-time favorite movie, is Shaun of the Dead (2004). The romance is sweet, but it has NOTHING on the bromance between Shaun and Ed. Watch it. Love it. Join us. JOIN US!
One of us, one of us.