Sometimes the chemistry on a set works just perfectly, and you can just tell the cast had a ball making the movie. Such is the case with “Life After Beth,” Jeff Baena’s directorial debut, which premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival. The zombie comedy has a lively cast led by Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan, with comic talents Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Matthew Gray Gubler, Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser offering zany support.
Baena, who co-wrote “I Heart Huckabees” with David O. Russell over a decade ago (and is Plaza’s boyfriend today), here offers a fresh and funny take on what can be an overplayed genre. Rather than highlighting the zombies’ flesh-eating qualities, the film focuses on the love story between Plaza and DeHaan—after what is kindly described as his dead girlfriend’s “resurrection,” he remains determined to see past her indiscretions. (Plus, she’s really horny.)
We caught up with Baena and some of his delighted cast at Sundance, where they shared secrets from the set, including Baena’s highbrow inspiration, Plaza’s character April on “Parks and Recreation” (“I know her inside and out”), Shannon’s overachievement, and Gubler’s complete inability to do impressions. “Life After Beth” was picked up by A24; stay tuned for a release date and watch below.