"Oh my god, it's official, zombies are over, there's now officially a necromantic love story made by a major studio!"
It's the way it goes, isn't it? Something new horrifies people, then people become familiar with and codify it, then they humanize it and make it either funny or cuddly and lovable. Sure, he's a dead thing and he's part of a faceless mass of ruined humanity devouring everything in his path but he's also lonely and conflicted and, gosh darn it, he just wants to connect.
Not to say it was a bad movie. I watched it for a couple hours in a typical Monday night movie crowd of teenage girls and creepy single men (ummmm....) and I never once looked at my watch. It's a nice little story: boy meets girl, boy doesn't eat girl, boy's fragile reconnection to his lost humanity inspires other zombies, girl convinces skeptical dad that zombies can change, human and zombie fight against worse zombies, stuff happens, the end. The hooks are all there, it hits the beats correctly, and there's some nice moments in it.
Having said that, it's probably more of a rental than a see-in-theaters.
The kid playing the zombie is very good. He's expressive and does a lot with struggled dialogue and creaky body movement. Watching him struggling to communicate and feeling his frustration with his limitations reminded me a lot of Bubs, the zombie with a soul from Day of the Dead. The problem is, the object of his affections doesn't have much spark to her. She also winds up doing a lot of unforgivably stupid shit for someone who grew up in a post apocalyptic hellscape. Still, she gets home and everything seems to work out.
In the end, the movie is....a'ight. Nothing particularly grand, but an enjoyable viewing. The AV Club's infinitely better review pretty much nailed it: "For a movie about a love so powerful that it brings people back from the dead, it’s curiously tepid."
I guess that's pretty much all can be said about it. It's right at the cusp of good and meh, but at least I don't have to pull out my old worn drum and start beating on about how this is the death/resurrection of the zombie genre.