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Summary: Adam, a 27 year old man who is otherwise in excellent health, is suddenly diagnosed with cancer. He breaks the news to his girlfriend, his best friend and his mother, who is also dealing with her husband who has Alzheimer's disease. In the middle of it all, Adam also seeks therapy from a young and inexperienced therapist,assigned to him by the hospital, and befriends several older, wisecracking chemotherapy patients.
In addition to being my preferred gin to tonic ratio, 50/50 also proves to be a funny, touching movie about a man's battle with a terrible infliction, and the crazy people around him who try to help him carry on with his life. Oh, it also shows us that they'll let nearly anybody be a psychiatrist these days.
Everything Funny People wanted to be but couldn't; it never takes the easy route or descends into weepy melodrama, but that may be because Gordon-Levitt's character refuses to play the victim and his friendship with Rogen's pays off in unexpected spades.
It's a shame that the Oscar's don't respect comedies as they do melodramas. "50/50" has all the heart and emotional manipulation of any capital "D" Drama, but manages to find some levity in a seriously dark issue. The highs and lows you feel during this movie are pretty remarkable. I found myself with a full-out belly laugh one minute and trying to hide my increasingly dusty eyes from my girlfriend the next. Gordon-Levitt plays the entire range effortlessly, while Rogen does his usual schtick.
50/50 tells the story of a young man with cancer, which of course makes it both a harsh and sad film overall. Don't expect to leave it feeling all good inside. However, it manages to keep its balance and avoids being unnecessarily depressing, especially through a very clever use of tasteful, low key humor and a strong theme of friends, family and love.
Although not completely emancipated from the well-worn sitcom stereotypes, "50/50" still manages to strike a consistently impressive balance between comedy and drama, avoiding both glossing over its serious subject and drowning it in treacle. The performances are all strong, the comedic parts work and there's a strong undercurrent of genuine emotion to secure emotional resonance. There are some forced embellishments, but the overall good-natured and optimistic feel is ultimately rewarding.
50/50 deals with its theme in a respectfull manner withouth throwing the lets-make-it-so-sad-everyone-will-cry-card. By doing so it brings a more realistic feeling to the whole and the characters, even though a bit stereotyped, are well written and well played by all. Rogen is used as a comic relief remedy in a sober way and BDH is just amazing as the torn girlfriend!
50/50 is a REALLY good movie, great story, great writing, great acting. i've come to expect pretty much anything gordon-levitt is cast in to be awesome in about the last ten years. it helps that reiser and rogan drew from personal experience in writing this movie. i feel like the nicely wrapped up ending may draw a bit of potential away, yet i don't know if i'd think as highly of it if it had not. watch it, it's awesome.
The actors are all good and the movie is approached with a nice mix of both heart and laughs. Unfortunately the film's plot is way too predictable. Partly because you can piece most of it together from the trailers and partly because it doesn't take many departures from what you would expect from a Hollywood film.
As it stands, "50/50" has a heart and laughs to spare. Where other directors would generate empathy out of a serious subject matter with melodramatic overtones, here it's done with admirable truth. Much of that honesty is evoked by Levitt's performance (who hasn't been this good in a while), alternating between confusion, fear, anger and confidence, even at his most vulnerable. I would've liked to see parts developed even further (Adam's father, cancer patients), but it's still a solid film.
Nothing to complain about here. A good mix of drama and comedy, and considering the subject it's great that this wasn't sappier or more dramatic. I liked the presentation and the cast is well-suited for the material.
It's a somewhat predictable plot inhabited by familiar stock characters (Average Joe, the quirky romantic interest, the stoner buddy, etc). But that doesn't at all prevent this from being a great film. It deftly blends comedy and drama, and succeeds because it comes close to the weird mixture of laughter and sadness that makes up reality.