What We ThoughtGenre: Comedy, Drama
What We Liked :Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fantastic, Heartwarming and funny
What We Disliked:Delicate topic
While a film about cancer doesn’t sound like the best night out, 50/50 has enough heart to make it well worth the time.
After a lifetime of always playing it safe it would seem the most devastating catastrophes are the ones that are silent. 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a young man who has just been diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer. How he is able to cope with the news is half of the challenge, not to mention the difficulty those around him are having as well.
50/50 is written by Will Reiser, Seth Rogen’s real-life friend, who had dealt with cancer in his life six years ago. This helps make the movie all the more sincere. Making any sort of comedy out of a terminal illness like cancer is a fine line to walk, but 50/50 manages it gracefully.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a lot of family issues to deal with as Adam. His best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), seems be taking his friend’s illness as a joke, insisting he use his illness to pick up girls and assisting with shaving his buddy’s hair. One questions whether he has the right intentions for his friend when he verbally dismisses Adam’s girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Rachael tries to support Adam through his sickness, but becomes overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation. Adam decides to take on his treatment by himself, blocking out most of the support around him. His mother tries to comfort him, but he feels guilty asking her for help. His new counselor Katherine (Anna Kendrick), wants to help out as well, but often finds an unwilling Adam in her presence.
The story deals with Adam’s relationships with those around him and it’s all the better for it. His mother, counselor, girlfriend, best friend, and fellow cancer patients all have their reactions to his illness. It feels that Adam is in disbelief for some of the film, unable to cope with his unfortunate circumstances.
When 50/50 came to theaters earlier this year, I missed it in theaters. Don’t make the same mistake I did when the film comes to video. 50/50 is a strong enough film to have more awards praise, but unfortunately, that is looking less likely. That shouldn’t stop anyone from seeing it though. While a film about cancer doesn’t sound like the best night out, 50/50 has enough heart to make it well worth the time.