In a nutshell, "50/50" is movie about an otherwise average 27-year-old guy named Adam who gets diagnosed with cancer, and what happens to his life and the people in it when faced with 50/50 odds of survival.
Unlike most of the generic, forgettable fare that Hollywood churns out each year, this film is something special. With an all-star cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick and Anjelica Huston, you will actually care about the characters, get swept up in the story and actually feel something when you walk out. "50/50" is one of the best movies I've seen this year, and here are a few reasons why it will be one of your favorites as well.
It's Not A Remake, Reboot, Or YA Novel Adaptation
This is an original story based on actual events, inspired by writer Will Reiser's battle with cancer and how his friends and family dealt with it. One of those friends is Seth Rogen, who has said that they all noticed that Reiser, who was just 25 at the time of his diagnosis, was losing weight and not looking well, until he finally broke the news to everyone in a very nonchalant, unbelievable way, very similar to how it plays out in the film.
An A-List Cast That Delivers
The actors in the film are almost perfect. Seth Rogen is still his likable goofball self, but a more relatable, subdued version. Anna Kendrick is superb as the cautious, by-the-book psychologist, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just so good he never seems like he's acting. He just IS the character. Also Bryce Dallas Howard is excellent as pretty much the worst girlfriend ever. I would have liked to see a lot more of Anjelica Huston as Levitt's character's mom, however; she was a bit underused.
If you have not seen director Jonathan Levine's previous work, "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane," and the fantastic coming-of-age Indie "The Wackness," add them to your Netflix queue asap. This man is so going places. He has such a knack for playing up the universal nuances and subtleties of our complicated emotional existence, without being heavy-handed or melodramatic. His work is pleasantly unique and just plain good.
It Will Make You Feel
Who doesn't love a good cry? Especially in a dark theater, among a group of strangers? I'm exaggerating, of course, but "50/50" will make you feel for and empathize with the characters in such a heartfelt, heartwarming way that it will remind you about someone in your life who has gone through a similar ordeal and that is what will move you to tears. Even if you know the outcome, you can't help but get caught up in the climactic life-or-death moments.
Stand Up For Cancer Comedy
It's not about making light of a devastating disease, it's about making a difficult subject easily accessible and relatable. The unfortunate reality is that almost everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed or suffered with cancer. It's not something to laugh about, but there are certain aspects about helping a loved one deal with such a heavy, depressing issue that demand a bit of lightheartedness and optimism. "50/50" could have gone the way of the tired, forced cliche, but it does the opposite, and instead surprises you with its humanity and depth.
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