The Movie Special

DVD Reviews 'n More

50/50 (2011)

Can you say that a movie about cancer is cute? Or really funny? After seeing 50/50 you do just that. The story of 50/50 was inspired by the screenplay writer Will Reiser’s own battle with cancer in which Seth Rogen also “played” the role of his best friend – that time for real.

In 50/50 twenty-seven year old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that he has a rare form of cancer (with a name that nobody can pronounce). The odds of surviving it are 50/50. Instead of concentrating on Adam dealing with being diagnosed with cancer this movie concentrates on how everybody else deals with the situation. There is his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) who wows to stand by her man but fails miserably. Adam’s neurotic mom Diane (Anjelica Huston) wants to move in to support her son. Adam’s young therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is still trying to figure out how to act around patients. But mostly the movie concentrates on the relationship between Adam and his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen).

Rogen is at his best as loud talking and crude Kyle, who seems to be handling his friend’s diagnosis with wittiness and partying. But towards the end we begin to see more of Kyle’s sensitive and caring side, which is hidden behind his jokes. Jonathan Levine has directed a movie that touches your heart through the laughter. 50/50 is a movie that concentrates on the funny in a tragic situation without loosing touch on the more gruelling aspects of the disease, but it also does not focus on them too much.

Written, directed and acted by people who have experienced the battle with cancer in real-life, this movie sure knows what it’s talking about. And it’s good to have a less serious movie about a difficult topic.

I laughed and I cried – in that order – and thoroughly enjoyed 50/50.

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