50/50  (2011)

I passed on this movie when it first came out. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick, but a comedy about cancer was just something I wasn't entirely on board for.

Adam (JGL) is a straight-laced guy, doesn't smoke or drink, works for Public Radio, has a nice girlfriend - everything is pretty good. Back pain sends him to the doctor, where he founds out he has a rare form of cancer. The revelation sends him into a weird spiral, re-evaluating his life and relationships and friends and family. I've never gone through a diagnosis like that, so I can't really compare, but I could empathize about how it would impact your life. Some relationships falter, others grow stronger, and Adam runs through the entire range of emotions.

I'm always a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and it's hard to classify him as an actor because he's done drama, rom-com, action, comedy...but this movie is a different type of drama, I think. It's just heavier than pretty much anything he's done (maybe "Lincoln" could compare in the gravity of the movie), and is able to really pull off the seriousness without going into melodrama. Seth Rogen is at his most serious, which isn't very serious, but fits his character (although to be fair, I found out Rogen was basically playing himself, because the writer is a friend of Rogen's who went through a battle with cancer).

I'm honestly not sure what made me sit to watch this (other than "it was on"), and I don't know if I would necessarily recommend it. It's a well-made movie, but not something an average person would sit and enjoy, unless they enjoy crying.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "50/50" a 6 out of 10.




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