Jeff Baena’s ‘Life After Beth’

So after watching Eat and Run which was a film billed as Horror on the box but actually turned out to be a comedy, I decided why not watch a real Horror Comedy. In my search for cinema entertainment I decided to venture to the local cinemaplex to watch this weeks treat Life After Beth. Keep reading to find out more or possibly just find my bile translated into words.

Emo Mourning

Why does everything has a blue filter? Is blue the unofficial colour for mourning? Isn’t blue the warmest colour?

Our story begins with Beth (Aubrey Plaza) hiking through the mountains listening to music and generally enjoying life. The next scene is of Zach (Dane DeHaan) attempting to find napkins for Beth’s funeral. We are informed that on her seemingly lovely walk she met her fate at the toothy end of a rattle snake and the loss is not hitting Zach well. In a way of dealing with everything he ends up visiting and befriending both of Beth’s parents; Maury (John C. Reilly) and Judy (Molly Shannon). One even they both refuse to see Zach and are unwilling to give him a reason why. Soon Zach is breaking into the house only to find that Beth has risen from the grave as if that snake had never decided to snack on her. Soon Zach and Beth are back to normal but it becomes evident that all is not as it seems, more dead people are returning and some seem violent. What is the reason for these resurrections? Why was Zach not with Beth on her fateful night? Why does this film last a billion hours?

So Fucking Cute

This is the before everything went to shit photo.

First off the bat we will do the good then we will get to the bad, hopefully that Is ok with you all. The cast are excellent and everyone does their best to elevate the slightly benign script. Aubrey Plaza is believable as Beth injecting the role with a sweetness when required, Dane DeHaan is also good in his role but he often acts unrealistically to the situations put in front of him. John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon are great as the overbearing parents Shannon especially coming across as a little to good to be under utilised in her role. Anna Kendrick appears in a role that really did not require her star power and she mostly comes off as wasted, I think she may have been an alternative choice for Beth but here she is just shoehorned in.

Not Model Parents

Just going to say again that this really is a fantastically cast film.

The bad now and there is a fair bit which is sad because I am a huge fan of most of the cast and the concept felt original. First the script is incredibly passive and most of situations feel like they could have done with a little more R rated thinking. Beth being resurrected initially starts off as interesting but soon degrades into zombie territory and even worst becomes a metaphor for Zach getting over her death. The metaphor approach would be fine if we saw that he was the perfect boyfriend but we are soon told he was an asshole who did nothing with Beth and was planning on leaving her, why is he the focus? It’s the problem I have with a lot of films recently, we cannot sympathise with people just because of loss if they did not deserve what they lost. The biggest issue is the script, it lacks bite where it is required most.

Zach

Kind of an asshole but some people just are.

I sadly cannot recommend this film, genuinely if you are a fan of all the actors it serves as a nice character piece but once you find that they lack sympathy you just start hating them. Beth remains someone you can feel sorry for because she is contently being lied to or treated as a burden.

Beth

Aubrey Plaza still somehow attractive despite being a zombie.

I give it a Steven Seagal, you’ll possibly enjoy it if it is on the telly box but it is not worth the price of admission. It hurts me to say that since I wanted it to be great.

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