It’s a rom-com. No, it’s a vampire movie. Wait, it’s a social media satire. Actually, it’s all of that. The unusual genre-mix caught my attention, so I decided to watch Bite Me. This film goes live (or should I say “undead”) via video-on-demand on February 8. You’ll want to add it to your must-see list.
Writer/director team Naomi McDougall Jones and Meredith Edwards created Bite Me as their second collaboration. Their first feature film, Imagine I’m Beautiful, collected 12 awards at film festivals.
I enjoyed Bite Me for its genre tweaks, excellent writing, and memorable acting. It provides laughter and characters to care about.
What Is Tweaked
Bite Me is a romantic comedy, but the vibe is not Pretty Woman or When Harry Met Sally. We meet Sarah, played by Naomi McDougall Jones, and soon discover she is some kind of vampire. Complications, roommates, loneliness, and not fitting in to the world, make her life a drag. And she hasn’t had sex in eight years.
Who’s the (un)lucky guy? James, played by Christian Coulson (Mozart in the Jungle, Nashville), has his own problems. Something of a mama’s boy, he too is lonely, also has roommate problems, and doesn’t like his job as an IRS auditor.
These two charmers meet when James receives an assignment to audit the “church” that Sarah runs as a cover for her and her vampire friends. Mister proper-suit-and-tie accountant meets Miss blue-hair-and-torn-jeans hippie who hangs out in graveyards. An unlikely pairing, but by the time they get to this meet-uncute, you’ll be rooting for them.
The characters who surround Sarah and James also entertain.
Sarah’s two roomies, played by Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) and Mahira Kakkar, have their own issues which result in complications for Sarah and tie into the larger societal theme.
The complications in James’ life come from his mother who keeps calling and texting, and his co-workers. The co-workers, his boss, played by Harold Surratt, and the lady in the next cubicle (from whom he rents a room), played by Annie Golden (Orange is the New Black, Hair), made me think of The Office. Quirky, funny, weird, but not so much that they don’t remind you of someone you shared an office lunchroom with.
These disparate elements get blended into cinema art by Jones’ excellent script. The event that sets the story into motion is when a member of the vampire church, who is also Sarah’s ex, comes out on a reality show as a real vampire. He gets millions of hits online.
This causes Sarah’s roomies to want to be their “true selves” and come out as well.
The social media storm brings the vampire church to the attention of the IRS. They suspect it’s not a church, but just some kind of cover for tax evasion. That’s why James and Sarah meet.
The dialogue is sharp and clever as well. During one of James’ and Sarah’s first social meetings, Sarah responds to a question from James with a line from the movie Dracula. Her reference goes right over James’ head, but if you’re a horror movie fan like me, you will laugh.
That’s not the only laugh, because after all the blood, social media madness, and diversity issues, this is still a funny, enjoyable romantic comedy you will want to see. It premieres Feb 8. on Amazon Prime and iTunes.