Friday, September 25, 2015

Burying the Ex

Max and his beautiful girlfriend Evelyn move in together. At first, it seems pretty awesome until she reveals herself to be controlling, overbearing, and manipulative. It starts out with small things like freaking out over an ice cream server talking to him and then escalates with removing any trace of him from their apartment (including his valuable horror movie posters), replacing it with hideous but environmentally friendly decor. Max has had it and prepares to break up with her, but she dies in a horrific bus accident before he has the chance. He's still sad of course, but is now free to date someone else perhaps with similar interests. Max randomly bumps into the ice cream shop girl who is clearly better suited for him and they hit it off. Unfortunately, Evelyn returns from the dead and expects to make him into a zombie so they can be happy together forever. How can he break up with her now when she's a zombie?

You might find this plot familiar as it is extremely similar to Life After Beth, which I watched last year. While many of the plot points are the same, I enjoyed this film's execution much better. The main character is better portrayed here. Max loves horror films and dreams of owning his own horror themed store. This is a great decision because it automatically makes most of the audience at least a little sympathetic to him because they share that love of horror. I still found him a little annoying. He wants to keep both girls in the dark while having the benefits of being with them both. Admittedly, the benefits of keeping Evelyn happy include living, but he ultimately doesn't want to be turned into a zombie to be with her forever. The emotional benefits to be with Olivia are better and he truly enjoys being with her. I guess if he actually had conviction from the beginning, there wouldn't have been much of a movie.

The plot is extremely basic and predictable, but what makes this film so much more enjoyable than others like it is the actors. Max is all right. He's the quintessential "nice guy" that actually isn't all that nice. He's indecisive, immature, and just not in charge of his life. He also lets everyone push him around and doesn't assert himself at all. It got on my nerves especially when two women are vying for his attention. Ashley Greene is delightfully annoying as Evelyn. I just can't help but enjoy how passionate she is about her issues and how manipulative she can be towards Max. While Aubrey Plaza let that opportunity slip by in Life After Beth, Ashley Greene delights in her role and makes it fun to watch. Alexandra Daddario as Olivia is just a ball of sunshine. She's a bit quirky, a little morbid, and seems like a fun person. I would totally frequent her ice cream shop with obscure influences, horror references, and fun flavors. Olivia and Evelyn contrast nicely with their respective passions and contrasting attitudes. The only character I didn't really like was Max's half brother Travis. He was simply a womanizing misogynist who didn't really add much to the movie.

Burying the Ex is a fun, but formulaic movie. It's a better film than Life After Beth, its carbon copy, only because of the actors infusing life into the pretty thin characters. The underlying theme is clear, but relevant. The ex-girlfriend is rotting because there isn't anything to be gained from that relationship any longer. They can choose to stay together, become undead, and be miserable together or they can move on and live happier lives. As a zombie romantic comedy, it's fine, but nothing special.

My rating: 7/10

No comments: