My Summary: 50/50 is a comedy-drama based loosely off the life experiences of screenwriter and cancer survivor, Will Reiser and his real life friendship with Seth Rogen, who also stars in the film. Penning the early script, Reiser was able to allow his writing to fluently spill the emotions and dark humor he harbored, allowing the process to help him spiritually heal. From there, came a beautiful and heartbreaking story of one man’s struggle played meticulously by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who delivers nothing short of an Oscar worthy performance.
Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) is a 27 year old public radio producer living in eco-friendly, Seattle, Washington. He’s in a committed relationship with a local artist (Bryce Dallas Howard) and is completely content with his life. That is, until he starts experiencing severe pain in his lower back. And with a few short visits to the doctor’s office, Adam’s life is changed forever after he finds out that he has a rare tumor located in his spine. His chances of survival are 50/50.
My Review: This film caught my attention when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. I really like Joseph Gordon-Levitt (ok, more like LOVE) and the premise of him doing a black comedy with Seth Rogen that was more heartfelt and real-life-drama, completely caught my interest. And thankfully, this was a film I was able to screen a few weeks ago. So, even though the subject matter was dark, I was anxiously waiting in my seat for the film to start. I know, sounds weird.
But, the movie prevailed. It was absolutely everything that I could have wanted for the film and more. It was raw, sincere, very funny at times, and believable. You will laugh and you will cry.
In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamics between Gordon-Levitt's character and Seth Rogen's character. Rogen, if you really think about it, was basically playing himself. In a previous interview, he said he was able to finally convey emotions and thoughts that at the time (with friend, Will Reiser), he was not able to express. This comes through in some very hilariously real moments, and some heartbreaking moments.
Also, Anjelica Huston as the mother was absolutely perfect (when is she not perfect), plus Bryce Dallas Howard is unfortunately as usual, the perfect-bitch-girlfriend. I don't know what it is about her, but she does it well. And last but not least, is the cutie patootie, Anna Kendrick, who plays a premed student who councils cancer patients. Though her character reminded me a lot of her character in Up In The Air, it's hard not to like Kendrick. There's something blunt about her delivery, and I can't help but smile. I'll just summarize by saying, the ENTIRE cast was brilliant. Need I say more?
I won't ruin the film by giving away every plot point, but know this: You must see this film. Don't think that you are going to see a film about doom and gloom and will be miserable for two hours. It is not like that at all. It's hard to explain, but it's just a really good film that felt real... and sad... and celebrated life... and made you laugh while doing it. Since the film is still stuck in my head, I'm sorry! I'm going to go out on a limb and call it one of the top three (if not THE) films of the year. I loved Midnight in Paris, but 50/50 is right there with it.
50/50 hits theatres Friday, September 30. Go see it!
Cast and Credit:
Directed by Johnathon Levine
Bryce Dallas Howard-Rachel