Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston
Rated: R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Description from Amazon:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen team up to beat the odds in a film that Rolling Stone calls achingly hilarious and heartfelt. Diagnosed with spinal cancer, 27 year old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) navigates the road to recovery with the sometimes overbearing support of his crude best friend (Rogen), his smothering mother (Angelica Huston) and an inexperienced therapist (Anna Kendrick). Inspired by a true story of writer Will Reiser, 50/50 is an honest yet hysterically funny account of a young man's journey toward healing.
A couple of nights ago I re-watched 50/50 for what had to of been the fourth or fifth time. I saw it in the theater when it first came out with a friend, got it through Netflix, borrowed it from the library, and then recorded on my DVR during a free HBO (or Showtime, I can't remember) preview weekend. I absolutely adore this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors of all-time.
50/50 follows Adam (Gordon-Levitt), a normal 20-something guy living in Seattle, and his discovery that the pain he is feeling in his back is actual a large cancerous tumor. The story is based on the movie's author, Will Reiser's, real-life experience. Adam and his best friend Kyle (Rogen) work together as radio producers and have the kind of warm, funny friendship that can only be established through years of togetherness. Kyle obviously loves Adam and he is devastated when he hears the news that his friend has cancer. He tries to cheer Adam up by saying that celebrities recover from cancer all the time and that with a 50/50 chance of making it Adam would have the best odds if he were a casino game.
The women in this movie are phenomenal. Angelica Houston (one of the best living actresses) portrays Adam's mother. While her character is over-bearing, Houston brings so much heart and honesty in the role. Living with a husband who cannot remember his family due to alzheimers, she now has to deal with the fact that her 27 year-old son has cancer. She's surrounding by men she loves her can't/won't talk to her.
Adam's girlfriend, Rachel, is played by Bryce Dallas Howard. On a side-note, she has never looked better than she does in this movie. I really like Ms. Howard (I may be one of the only people alive who liked The Village). Her role in 50/50 may as well be "evil girlfriend", but she does a good job for the material she's given.
Finally, Anna Kendrick is amazing. I just love this girl (Up in the Air/Pitch Perfect/Scott Pilgram--seriously, she's awesome). She plays the therapist Adam's doctor suggests he goes to see. She, too, is incredibly young (the hospital is a "teaching" hospital) and Adam is her third ever patient. She struggles on how to handle this cancer patient barely older than she is. Her professionalism sometimes slips and she tells Adam things like how she sometimes Facebook-stalks her ex-boyfriend. The scenes between the two of them are warm and funny and it's hard not to root for them to be together.
I can't even begin to explain how well this movie was done, from the doctor who can't look his patients in the eye and talks instead to a microphone to the older men he meets while getting chemo treatments. To the sweetness of his relationships with both Kyle and Katherine (Kendrick's character) to the relatability of the relationship with his mother. This movie is the absolute perfect blend of sweet and funny to sour and poignant. I cannot recommend it enough.
Have you seen this movie? What did you think?
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