This weekend, Jon and I went to see Warm Bodies, which some newspaper (I forget which) had described as being "the perfect date movie." I was curious to see how a zombie film could be romantic, but ... it really was. This "ZomRomCom," as Jon called it was sweet, funny and surprisingly moving. The theater wasn't very crowded as it was Superbowl Sunday, but the audience members who were there really got into it. We even applauded at the end and over dinner Jon admitted that it had been better than he'd expected.
After seeing the movie, I decided to read the Isaac Marion book, WARM BODIES, that it had been based on. In some ways, the movie and book were alike, but the movie went for more funny and cute moments over the darker ones. Plus, the two main characters came off a younger. Warm Bodies the movie was a teen romcom with a hint or horror, where WARM BODIES the book was more like a horror/dystopian tale with a hint of romance.
In both the book and movie, a young zombie -- simly called "R" -- serves as the narrator. As a zombie, he can't say very much, but his thoughts are active and he's actually quite introspective. He wishes that he could somehow connect with others and find a purpose to his existence.
This happens when SPOILER...... he eats the brain of a young man named Perry, who served on the living human's security force. R takes on Perry's memories and falls for Perry's girlfriend, Julie. As R and Julie's relationship develops, R gradually comes back to life.
The movie concentrated mainly on R and Julie's friendship/romance. Both actors were amazing and really made you root for them to find a way to be with each other. We got a nice glimpse of the zombie/end of the world universe, but the kids were the main focus.
In the book, R and Julie still get plenty of "screentime," for lack of a better word, but the story itself is darker and you get a much better sense of the world. And there are actually two narrators, in a way, because we hear a lot from Perry through R's thoughts. Perry was in the movie, but only in a minor role, whereas in the book, he and R have an ongoing dialogue. Through the narration(s) we see how there isn't much difference between the Dead and the living who are so distraught and beaten down that they are practically zombies themselves. It was an interesting take on life and death -- and how they're always going to be linked.
I enjoyed the movie, but I liked the book much better. This is usually the case for me because let's face it: some things that work in a book just don't translate on screen. I think that the movie did a great job of following the book's gist, and it was definitely an original premise. I'm not usually a fan of zombies; I prefer vampires. But I really felt for the zombies in this story and the tale itself has stayed in my mind. I highly recommend the movie, but if you like it, make sure that you read the book, as well.
And please read my book REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, 99 cents through February!