Monday, 6 October 2014

Now, I just kind of wish she would stay dead

Life After Beth (2014)

Movies seem to be struggling with how best to utilize the fine talents of Aubrey Plaza. This one at least moves a little way from just making her a big screen version of the brilliant, sardonic April in Parks and Recreation (the terrific Jim O'heir from that show puts in a pleasing one scene cameo) but forget to actually fill that void with anything else.
A big part of the problem is Plaza is only seen after becoming a zombie, and in a touch taken from Romero's sequels mostly wants to continuing doing what she was last doing (in this case hiking, studying for a test and, i guess, having a relationship with a boy?) but has little characterisation. And perhaps even worse gets very little gags (the movie is fairly bereft of humour, quite damning for a comedy). 
It slogs along for a while attempting to pick something meaningful to say about relationships, how they end, the idea of just going through the motions but it isn't quite enough although it does start to liven up a little when it gets a bit more loose and embrace the zombie stuff (and Plaza gets some nice physical stuff to play with).
There's a bunch of potentially interesting business here (what if a zombie apocalypse happened but people, and the zombies themselves, ignored it, what would you give to have another chance at a relationship) but Shaun of the Dead did all that and remembered to put some great jokes in.

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