At the young age of 27, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper, Inception), a writer working at a public radio station, is thrown for a loop when he is told that he has cancer. It is a rather rare form of spinal cancer and his chance of survival is 50/50.
As if that isn’t bad enough, shortly after he begins his chemotherapy, his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogan – Superbad, Pineapple Express) catches Adam’s girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard – The Help, Jurassic World), cheating on him.
So newly single, having to leave his job, deal with his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston – The Addams Family, Isle of Dogs), attend his therapy sessions with a rather green therapist (Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air), and fight cancer. Boy oh boy! Adam’s hands are full.
Based on a true story, 50/50 manages to be a film about cancer which is not only poignant, but often funny. Quite doubtful that a Seth Rogan film could handle this subject with sensitivity, I was pleasantly shocked. A success!
A success because they focus on the drama before the humour. Therefore it has a more organic feel to it. You are pulled in between tears and laughs. An impactful combo. You get an idea of how the shock and fear would hit a person of that age who gets this dire news. The panic or well meaning behaviour of friends and family. A quiet film which packs a punch and understands that humour has to be involved or it all becomes too much.
In a situation of perfect casting for the three young leads, Rogan, Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick are in roles which are perfect for them. Rogan is a buffoon. A buffoon with a heart. A case of perfect casting. Anna Kendrick is a cute and a little geeky young therapist. Finally, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is totally in his wheelhouse. Playing the straightman. Serious, but wryly funny. Plenty of honesty brought to all the performances.
-The Story of 50/50
-Life Inspires Art
-Seek and Destroy