Summary: R is not your average zombie. He has coherent thoughts, can speak (sort of), is an avid collector of human memorabilia, and most importantly, has the ability to fall in love. Everything in R’s life is altered one day when he rashly decides to bring a human girl back to live in his 747. Her name is Julie, and she and R have the power to change the post-apocalyptic world forever. The weapon they have is [zombie] love.
Warm Bodies is the modern Romeo and Juliet. And I don’t say that because they have a modern romantic love story, or that as a zombie and a human they are star-crossed, I say that because the novel Warm Bodies is literally inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Main character R is obviously Romeo and love interest Julie is his Juliet. R’s hilarious best friend M stands in for Mercutio and Juliet’s friend Nora (with her aspirations to be a nurse) represents Juliet’s nurse, merely called the Nurse. See? I wasn’t just pumping up the love story aspect.
The novel and the film, while telling the same story, are two completely different beasts. The book is barely a young adult novel, despite the filming marketing the story to the Twilight fandom (shakes fist in anger) and is instead a much more in-depth look at a crumbling post-apocalyptic world and how we as a society while alive are still more dead inside than the zombie scourge. This is all viewed through the lens of R and Julie’s love story. The movie explores how technology makes society into zombies in a much more light-hearted way, but still through the romance of R and Julie. To sum it up, the novel is more zom-rom (zombie romance) with touches of humor and the film is more zom-rom-com (zombie romantic comedy) plus Rob Corddry.