For whatever reason my local theater only ran 50/50 for a week and I unfortunately ended up missing it, which was a shame.
For anyone unaware 50/50 is inspired by Will Reiser’s, who wrote the screenplay, cancer battle. Seth Rogan is and was his friend during this time. It’s not a biography though. It’s fictionalized and all that jazz. So, the Will Reiser character essentially is named Adam. Early on in the film we find out with him that he has some unique type of spinal cancer and things go downhill from there. The movie essentially is everyone around him, including himself, trying to cope with cancer (whether they have it or not). Despite how horrible that might seem to sit through, it’s actually not that hard because it’s funny in a tasteful way.
Personally I think most people should watch 50/50. It’s a great movie just about coping with any kind of disease or disability. How not only the person directly is affected, but how those around them are. You get a good idea of people’s perspectives. And again, the interspersed humor helps make so it’s not a serious cancer movie that everyone is going to be haunted by. Think along the lines of Breaking Bad. A lot about cancer, but you’re not being beaten over the head by that fact to the point that you’re just miserable.
And again on the balance of comedy and drama (which makes the title fitting by the way). From what I’ve read, Reiser’s early draft(s) were contained a lot more jokes and a lot more fictional content to make the movie funny. The final product does a really good job at reeling that in. You also have more well-rounded characters then what were originally intended. Adam’s mom for example isn’t just some miserable old bat. She has her own problems. Again I this is exactly what makes this movie good. It’s not just how the main character is dealing with cancer, but you see how others try to deal with it.
The cast is really good as well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as Adam. He plays all the emotions perfectly. And Seth Rogan is probably at his best here. That makes sense since he is sort of playing a version of himself, but he’s really good. It shows both sides of his acting ability as far as comedy and actually being serious (think back to Observe and Report). Anna Kendrick does a great job as Adam’s therapist and it’s nice to see Anjelica Huston as Adam’s mom. Matt Frewer and Philip Baker Hall both make nice little appearances as Adam’s fellow chemo recipients/stoner friends. A great cast really and they are given plenty of room to just do their thing.
Great film in my opinion and deserving of getting awards/nominations. Definitely something a lot of people should check out. Good stuff.