REVIEW — “Life After Beth”
Zombies have become so commonplace these days that now we are making romantic comedies about them. While “Warm Bodies” was a wonderful reinterpretation of Romeo & Juliet, “Life After Beth” is more about letting go and moving on.
A few days after Zach’s (Dane DeHaan) girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) passes away, he begins to suspect she may not have died at all. Their relationship had been on the rocks and he begins to wonder if this was just an elaborate hoax to get away from him. From one day to the next her parents Maury (John C. Reilly) and Gennie (Molly Shannon) go from close friends, to avoiding him entirely. Eventually he discovers that Beth did die, but inexplicably returned to life with no memory of her final days. Maury and Gennie don’t want to question this “miracle” but Zach is a bit more skeptical. However, Zach’s excitement at having his amorous girlfriend back quickly overpowers that voice in the back in his head, a mistake many young men have made.
At its core, “Life After Beth” is a metaphor for letting go and walking away from bad relationships before they kill you. (In this case, literally.) As Zombie-Beth begins to degrade she becomes increasingly irrational and dangerous to Zach’s well being. Will he have the strength to leave her forever or will her “love” consume him?
Bolstered by a great cast, “Life After Beth” is fun, although darker than expected. Near the end of the movie it has a few rather harsh scenes and the humor blackens. The soundtrack is almost more disturbing than the zombies themselves. A running joke that is a marathon instead of a sprint, it’s packed with tons of Soft Jazz. Nonetheless, it’s an effective parable reminding us that some relationships are not worth rekindling.
3.5 out of 5 Stars