Monday, October 3, 2011

50 / 50 movie review

"50/50" The movie starts quite shallow as Joseph Gordon - Levitt's character Adam is diagnosed with cancer and his girl friend (Bryce Dallas Howard) obviously has no ability to give him comfort or the support he needs.  His best friend Kyle (played by Seth Rogen) catches her kissing another man and Adam tells her to leave. Kyle becomes the sole support for Adam and I found myself frustrated with him as he is so self centered and awkward in dealing with the reality of Adam's diagnosis.  Kyle doesn't seem to be the support Adam needs either, as he makes jokes and attempts to use Adam's cancer to score with women.  At this point I found little value in the movie.  The tone quickly changes as  Adam begins chemo and meets his therapist (Anna Kendrick) who is beginning her career.  New to therapy she is learning how to comfort someone who is in Adam's situation which adds another relationship to understand and some additional awkward situations.  He soon meets two older guys who are dealing with their own mortality as they are battling cancer and taking chemo.  They provide a missing link for him to discuss the fear he has.  We get introduced to his care giving mother (played by Anjelica Houston) who he attempts to keep at an arms length.  She is dealing with a husband with Alzheimers and Adam eventually changes his attitude towards her after direction from his therapist and realizes how letting her support him is what she needs.  Throughout the movie,  Adam deals with family, friends, and learns to look at life from a new perspective.

HMM?? A cancer comedy???  I believe the movie will be appreciated even by people who can't imagine wanting to see a comedy on cancer.  As I have recently walked through chemo with a friend and the death of a relative due to cancer.  I was not sure what to expect of the movie.  It allowed me to meditate on morality and grapple with some difficult, scary questions in a soft and light way.  I found it to be a great balance between heart and humor.  I personally laughed a lot, cried a little more, and contemplated life more then anything.  Joseph Gordon - Levitt is remarkable in his role as Adam and I if I had anything to do with Oscar nominations,  the movie would get a couple nominations for sure. 

I would encourage anyone to go and see this remarkable balance of comedy and tragedy. 

Check out the ... Movie Trailer

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Mixing humor and painful subject matter is, naturally, very difficult. The beauty of this movie is that it does so with ease, especially with such good actors in these roles as well. Good review. Check out my review when you get a chance.