Cold Body, Warm Heart

photo by flickr user MacGuffinPodcast

By Bailey Cunnigham

If you're looking for a romantic comedy that's a little off the beaten track this Valentine's Day, look no further than Warm Bodies, a story about a zombie that falls in love with a human girl. It may sound a little too Twilight for your tastes, but this unique, funny, and touching film offers a new twist on a classic love story that sets it apart from others in its genre.

The film begins with R, a young and rather introspective zombie, pondering his undead state and whether or not he will ever be able to connect with another person again. When he and his fellow corpses descend on a group of humans to feed, he finds himself drawn to Julie, a survivor of the apocalypse fighting against the legions of the undead. He decides to protect her, marking the beginning of a highly unlikely friendship. As he spends more time with Julie, R finds himself becoming more and more human, setting off a chain reaction that may end up changing their whole lifeless world. However, the paranoid human forces and the spectral Bonies both stand in the way of the unusual pair, who must find a way to bridge the gap between the living and the undead if they are to save the planet.

This movie is an instant crowd-pleaser, both with the undead-romance-obsessed girls of the Twilight generation and fans of more classic zombie flicks like Shaun of the Dead. Fair warning, guys—there’s a good deal of romance in this movie, but it’s balanced out by some great action and even better comic timing. It's surprisingly intelligent (hello, Romeo and Juliet references) and full of that particular brand of sarcastic wit that teenagers love. Nicholas Hoult, who plays R, gives a captivating performance as a young zombie suffering from an existential crisis. His desire to get more out of life, self-deprecating nature, adorable awkwardness, dry sense of humor, and journey to find himself tug on the heartstrings of anyone who’s ever been young and confused about who they were supposed to be. He may be a zombie, but his emotions are not dead.

What really makes this movie so good, though, is its heart. It offers a poignant view of human connection that is refreshing to find in modern film, especially in a genre that has usually been held back by its laughably bad attempts at serious romance. Warm Bodies portrays a strange, but utterly believable relationship between two characters caught in turmoil with the world around them and with themselves--something that all of us can relate to. This movie is about much more than star-crossed lovers--it's about what it means to be human.