“Parks & Recreation’s” queen of sarcasm and droll is the one reason to see “Life After Beth”. Her boyfriend Jeff Baena wrote and directed this ambitios rom-com that has a great premise but ends up falling flat with too much slapstick and jokes that go on too long.
Plaza stars as Beth, who dies of a snakebite while she yaps on her cellphone on a Cali hike. The piercing Huskie-like blue eyed Dane Dehaan (of “Chronicle” and “Beneath The Pines” fame ) is her devastated boyfriend, Zach, who sits shiva with her destroyed parents played by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon , who laments her lack of photos of her dearly departed daughter. Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser star as Zach’s parents.
Suddenly, Beth returns , with her parents hiding her away in their home, overjoyed by this inexplicable miracle. Mom follows her everywhere, camera around her neck , shooting her every move. Zach discovers Beth’s return and vows to right everything he wronged in the relationship. But Beth is not the Beth he remembers. It turns out she’s a zombie and is soon joined by more of the undead, leading to absolute mayhem. Also joining the cast, Plaza’s bestie in real life, Anna Kendrick, as her love rival.
Despite the stellar cast, it’s the writing that kills “Life After Beth”.