‘You know what was good? Zombieland. Let’s do that’.
You watch as the producers unzip their trousers and wrap their genitals around a pen to sign cheques ‘from me, to me’.
Life After Beth is essentially a short film elongated into a 90 minute joke. It left you concerned that your face wouldn’t recover from the forced smile you’ve unintentionally been holding. It’s like when your boss makes a joke, stares at you and laughs for too long. Your face does a strange double chin, wide eyed grin that you can’t for the life of you shake off. Life After Beth makes you feel as lost and empty inside.
What a fucking shame, because Aubrey Plaza, John C Reilly, Molly Shannon – I was looking forward to see them bounce off each other. Aubrey’s satirical wit alongside Reilly’s and Molly’s dedicated character acting (the Seinfeld character who couldn’t move her arms when she walked has made me who I am now) should have been phenomenal.
Without this, the film is wasted.
It begins with the mourning over Aubrey’s death. We see her boyfriend Dane DeHaan struggling with her death and living with his unsympathetic parents (nice to see Cheryl from Curb playing pretty much the same character with the same tone of voice). Dane’s a strange looking young man, whose character isn’t developed enough for me to appreciate him, no matter how much I want to.
There’s a hint of a relationship issue between him and Aubrey, which is brought up briefly, but isn’t explained. In a way, these elements are something I enjoyed about the film. We were looking at a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a guy who just wants his girlfriend back. So we deal with his anxiety, his love/lust and eventually his jolt to reality. There were issues between them, and she wasn’t going to be with him forever. Despite an apocalypse, this is still a prevalent issue.
But, unfortunately, this doesn’t make the film worth watching. We spend a lot of time watching Dane trying to see Aubrey, and Reilly (her dad), stopping him because he’s scared he’ll tell her she’s a zombie. Honestly, that’s most of the film.
Aubrey’s character is a typical teenager, rolling her eyes at her parents, and absentmindedly ignoring them, but she really comes out when her zombie rages cause her to punch through walls and blow up huts, yet keeping the innocent teenage angst behind it all.
I went in to watch an interesting take on the zombie genre and came out wondering how I was duped into sitting through a romcom. It’s average, with around two laugh out loud moments and many, ‘I haven’t laughed in a while so I’ll smile uncomfortably because it’s not cheap coming to the cinema’ moments.
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