#67 LIFE AFTER BETH
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Dan DeHann, Anna Kendrick, John C. Reily, Mathew Gray Gubler, Paul Reiser, Molly Shannon and Cheryl Hines. Written and directed by Jeff Baena. 89 minutes long.
It's that age-old romantic trope. Boy meets girl, girl dies, boy grieves, girl comes back to life, boy gets girl back, world engulfed by zombie apocalypse.
With a silly set up that never bothers, or needs, to explain how or why the dead have returned to life, the film is more interested in the relationship between Beth as played by Aubrey Plaza and her boyfriend Zach, played by Dan Dehann and her parent's determination for her not to find out she's dead. But as the days pass, Beth's behaviour starts to become more, zombie-ish and even the mellow charms of dinner jazz can't save her and all the while, her dotting boyfriend just wants to reconcile himself with her or die trying.
Joining the list of ZomRomComs that have seen Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland - Life After Beth isn't as polished or as funny, it's more slow burn and a little uneven, although it is nevertheless entertaining and funny. There are times when it feels a little like a dream, the sort where you can't turn a corner you want to go down and instead are taken somewhere else, which is frustrating, because sometimes the story we watch unfold doesn't seem as interesting as the glimpses we're offered of this bizarre world as thousands of the undead rise from the grave to return to their former lives and homes and bicker with relatives. We've had slow zombies, shambling zombies, running zombies and now anger-management zombies.
With a great indie soundtrack and some great performances this is a twisted and entertaining little flick.