Movie Review: ’50/50′ – Cancer Comedy That Will Make You Cry [Video]

50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places inspired by a true story.

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the average 27-year-old. He enjoys hanging out with his best buddy, Kyle (Seth Rogen), is working hard to build a career in the radio industry and is attempting to take his relationship with Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) another step forward.

Adam is a perfectly healthy 27-year-old who one day learns he has a tumor on his spine. As he copes with his 50/50 chance of survival, he’s supported by his best friend Kyle and his young newbie therapist (Anna Kendrick).

This new comedy directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Will Reiser. 50/50 is the story of a guy’s transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health – drawing its emotional core from Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer and reminding us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on a roll and with this film he keeps on rolling. He’s at his best in film’s of this nature, as opposed to Inception, where yes he looked good and did well, in this film he’s open, vulnerable, he’s so raw that you never know what he’ll do next and you care about him throughout everything he does. You not only follow his journey with eyes wide open, but care about him the entire way.

What also adds to the film is the variety of relations. From parents to son, boyfriend to horrible girlfriend, guy to guy, to patient to therapist, there’s a number of interesting relationships in this film that though only on screen for a limited time, really show you the heart of what loving someone, in a variety of different ways means, and how pretending to do that, never works.

What makes “50/50” so refreshing is that it never hits you over the head with the sort of elegiac writing you associate with movies about people who have cancer. Instead, it tries something new — and mostly succeeds, in part because it’s based on the personal experience of writer Will Reiser, himself a cancer survivor.

Director Jonathan Levine, along with the cast, strikes a perfect balance between humor and seriousness. The writing never gets too sentimental, even when Adam breaks the bad news to his mom or goes to his chemo treatments. Yet it’s also never flippant, even when Kyle tries to exploit Adam’s illness to get girls. It all feels sincere, and the humor emerges organically.

50/50 is a touching, poignant film that deals with a difficult topic in a very palatable way. It’s the not the feel-good film of the year, the comedy of the year, or the drama, but there’s something about it that’s honest, that you can relate to, that makes it one of the most human films of the year. [via AM NY, Screen Crave, Shockya and Rotten Tomatoes]

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