Monday, August 18, 2014

Life After Beth Has No Pulse

Jeff Baena wrote i heart huckabees. I LOVE i heart huckabees. So I was excited to learn that he had penned and was going to direct a new "zombie" flick starring Aubrey Plaza... Life After Beth.
This is a story about a kid who recently lost his girlfriend Beth to a snakebite while she was out hiking by herself. But when her parents begin acting weird after the funeral, he gets suspicious and decides to break into their home only to discover that she is still alive... well not exactly alive... but living... you get the point.
The only problem is... well there turned out to be a lot of problems... For one, Aubrey Plaza (note that she was top billed) barely had anything to do in the movie... no real character... no arc... no screen time. The real lead of the film was Dane DeHaan who has failed to make any kind of an impression on me between the four movies I've seen him in... wait, that's not true... I know him as that whiny kid.

Ugh. But then the film itself turned out to carry a plot that would've worked better in a short. I know this because my friends and I made said short four years ago. When your characters have to repeat the same conversation fifteen times over the course of the movie, you probably don't have a complete feature-length story.
The one truly shining moment for me came in the first couple of minutes... and it had nothing to do with the script... or really the film in general. It's an obvious ad-lib by John C. Reilly at the shiva. Just this tiny random moment that proves how much of a genius performer that man is. If (and I'm telling you, you shouldn't) you decide to go watch this film, I'm sure you'll know exactly what moment I'm referring to.
My final comment is to Jeff Baena. I know you can do better than this... I've witnessed it. Please write another screenplay with the same caliber of i heart huckabees! Don't make me beg here!

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