Sunday, January 29, 2012

50/50 (2011)

Written by: Will Reiser
Directed by: Johnathan Levine
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Angelica Huston

Adam (Levitt) is a 27 year old public radio producer living in Seattle. He seems to be a quiet young man with a girlfriend whom he lives with, but isn't connected to emotionally. He has a best friend who he has known for a long time. All in all, Adam seems to be living a normal, albeit boring life. The narrative wastes no time in telling that Adam has a rare form of spinal cancer. After doing some research on the internet, he finds out that he has a fifty-fifty chance of survival. Then the plot develops into how he embarks on his journey with cancer, and how it affects him and the people who surround his life.

Several Characters in the story are connected to Adam; His friend, Kyle (Rogen), his therapist (Kendrick), his mother (Huston), and two fellow cancer patients. The fellow cancer patients, played by Matt Frewer and Phillip Baker Hall are both small but very key roles in the narrative. There are several scenes that really stick out in this film. One in particular is when Adam finally has a breakdown while coming to grips with his own mortality. It is in this scene where the dialogue between Adam and the therapist begins to change.

50/50 is an an emotional story well written by Adam Reiser, who he himself is a cancer survivor (and good friend of Seth Rogen.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gone from a child actor to a fine diverse adult actor. Seth Rogen adds a good element to this drama with his witty, pop-culture themed style of humor.

This emotional journey is about how a man realizes that he wasn't really enjoying his life until he found out the real possibility that he could lose it. The film sparks emotions of sadness, but also laughter. It's the laughter that helps the main character (and his best friend) come to grasp the fate of their situation. If you or a loved one has ever been affected by cancer, or some form of impending doom, then you will identify with this film like I did.

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