As We Know It

As We Know It
As We Know It
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As we all know “it’s the end of the world as we know it” is a very interesting zombie comedy movie similar to Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. It may not have the same lasting appeal as those films or something denser like One Cut of the Dead, but its offbeat comedy and the lovable chemistry between everyone involved makes for an enjoyable, lightweight ninety-minute zombie comedy. The romance between James (Mike Castle) and Emily (Taylor Blackwell), who play leading roles in the film, seems slightly contrived but it does lead to quite a sweet conclusion. The jokes are sharp and this is what makes As We Know It great for viewers.

Set in Los Angeles, As We Know It takes us back to late 90s where we find ourselves with James Bishop, a novelist stuck in writer’s block after parting ways with his long-time girlfriend Emily. To make matters worse, James’ weirdo best friend Bruce comes over to his house on Hollywood Hills bearing some bad news. The city of Los Angeles is hit by a catastrophic zombie apocalypse due to consumption of toxic soy milk brand. They must then build barricades at James’ luxurious home with zombies prowling outside on streets (Brown). In order to survive through this apocalyptic occurrence, they must work on themselves and their relationships while fighting personal demons.

As We Know It is bonkers\ but cute undead flick. Basically, bunch friends take time out from life during a zombie outbreak which might end everything they have ever known or loved. However, throughout that period when they are dealing with their issues as well as reconnecting again they watch movies like Waterworld and Star Wars all day even ordering food delivery service from local restaurants (Brown). Yes, during a zombie apocalypse! Finally there is also rather adorable dance scene at close of movie.

Almost all of As We Know Its funny moments come from referencing other things. For instance Bruce asks James to name one Seal song. He replies “Kiss from a Rose,” which he calls the Batman Forever theme. The references are very much for fans of film and pop culture, with continued references to George Lucas’ Star Wars and (arguably better film) THX 1138.

Brandon DePaolo, Josh Monkarsh, and Christopher Francis’ script features some ridiculously silly comedy moments such as eating takeaway while zombies run rampant. One of these is Abracadabra, the wings and kebab shop that does not even close its doors during a zombie outbreak, quietly mirroring how restaurants and takeout spots operated amidst COVID-19. Besides that As We Know It makes fun of other zombie movie outbreaks etc… but milk; as it has been mentioned before about this soy milk occurring event which is accompanied by a series of jokes regarding substitution of milk with soya products (“soy boys” maybe) some of which are good ones.

Ultimately, the comedy in As We Know It is rather obvious and very absurd, but its often endearing enough to work if you suspend some disbelief and are receptive to its very broad satire.

The film’s magnetic, punchy cast often pulls off the comedy. Taylor Blackwell (Resident Alien, American Giggolo), Mike Castle (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Guest House), Oliver Cooper (MindHunter, Red Oaks), Chris Parnell (Rick and Morty, Anchorman) and the legendary Pam Grier (Jackie Brown,Foxy Brown) are among its cast members. Both Castle and Blackwell make exciting leads while Parnell and Pam Grier deliver fantastically in their small roles. Parnell nails an over-the-top news anchor while Grier plays a secret detective with a seeming crush on Bruce that taps into her great career.

But it is Oliver Cooper who should get most credit for his lovable and enthralling performance as James’ eccentric best friend. Every line of conversation was nothing but gold thanks to Cooper’s acting skills. There were only a few moments with him where the gags — on paper — shouldn’t work at all. Yet again, sporadic anecdotes such as these are much more effective with Cooper’s snappy burst of joyous authenticity on stage.

Cooper also has amazing chemistry with the rest of the cast; we could have watched an entire movie of Castle and Cooper just sitting on a couch spitting out bizarre Waterworld inspired improv about hot wings or anything else that came to mind. Also delightful was Cooper’s chemistry with Abracadabra delivery driver Danny Mondello. When they praised each other’s Subway sandwiches being made it was so richly rewarding for any viewer due to both actors expressing real admiration.

Except for Emily’s almost forced relationship with James for most part of the story, other characters seem to have intriguing relationships between them in this film. Just mentioned, among many things, the bromance between best friends James and Bruce was one of the highlights of the film. Comedy aside, seeing the two connect and open up to one another strengthened these characters.

The romantic relationship between Emily and James might have felt a little forced but it helped in moving along plot and themes. While the film begins with the repercussions of the couple’s messy break-up, they join hands to piece together the fragments that make a way for a sweet and satisfying conclusion. It’s all a bit too neat, tidy and unrealistic but hey that is what this movie is.

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