Saturday, December 3, 2011

Movie Review: 50/50

I recently had the opportunity to watch the movie 50/50 and was impressed by how well it balanced humor and drama while dealing with the serious issue of cancer.  Before I give more of my impressions of this film here's a synopsis of the movie...

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease. Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam and once again gives an impressive performance showing a realistic path of changing emotions as he undergoes treatment for cancer.  He goes through acceptance and rage and with each change of emotion he made me like him even more and left me rooting for him wholeheartedly.  Seeing him deal with an ungrateful girlfriend Rachael while fighting the side effects of chemotherapy brought tears to my eyes and an intense need to hug him.  I found his portrayal spot on and his boyish looks definitely hide how remarkable an actor he is.

He's not the only actor bringing their A-game to this film.  Surprisingly. Seth Rogan shows a nicely acted dramatic side while retaining his humor as Adam's supportive friend, Kyle.  He's there for Adam every step of the way through his treatment bringing humor to relieve the tension.  Their relationship in the movie hits some speed bumps along the way, but ultimately Adam realizes his friend is making more of an effort to be supportive than he ever knew.  The two of them are great together and the moment when they "hug it out" made me bawl like a baby.

The women in this film range from shrewish (Rachael played by Bryce Dallas Howard) to sweet and supportive (Katherine played by Anna Kendrick) to motherly and tough (Adam's mom Diane played by Angelica Huston).  Rachael was extremely unlikable and imminently forgettable.  She was a shrew totally lacking in empathy.  Completely opposite of that was Adam's therapist Katherine.  She was supportive and their slow building relationship brought a warm fuzzie to my heart.  Angelica Huston shows again why she's an acting icon playing Adam's mom.  She was motherly and tough when needed and I admired her backbone when dealing with Adam's doctors.

I LOVED everything about this movie!  From the great acting to the realistic emotions I was left feeling immensely satisfied as the credits rolled.  From the lead actors to the secondary characters everyone left a wonderful impression on me.  So if you're looking for an uplifting movie dealing with the seriousness of life with much needed humor then make sure you catch this in the theater.

My rating for this is an A!

*I attended this movie using my own money.


  1. I loved this movie! Kyle and Adam's relationships was the best thing about it.

    I feel like this is the Hollywood-ification of a Canadian indie movie called One Week. Both movies are about a young guy with a cancer diagnosis, but where this movie takes the happy, optimistic view, One Week goes the other way. In One Week, the main character gets a diagnosis of Stage Four cancer. Basically, he's going to die. Instead of going into treatment, though, he leaves immediately on a motorcycle road trip from Toronto to Vancouver Island, progressively getting sicker and sicker and learning the meaning of life.

    Trying not to spoil anything for people who haven't seen either movie... One Week ends the opposite way 50/50 does. But it retains the whimsical feel even through a heartbreaking ending. I really, really recommend it. It's worth watching just for the gorgeous scenery and as a nice representation of Canada.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment Becca and letting me know about another movie that sounds pretty darn good. I LOVE indie movies and I'll have to see if Netflix has it.

    The relationship between Kyle and Adam IS the best part and really touched me. I sometimes find Seth Rogan annoying but adored him in this flick. And again, I can't say enough about the awesomeness of JGL. He's made so many good movies and this is no exception.

    Glad to find another fan of this movie and thank you again for taking the time to comment!