50/50 (2011)

50/50 review

Sometimes you must not believe everything you read. I try to read as little as I can about any movie I want to see, but I did catch some things about 50/50. Everywhere I read about this movie it was described as “a comedy about cancer”. I can imagine a lot of people being shocked about that. How can you make fun of something so serious and I was interested to find out how it was handled. Last year I wouldn’t have believed that a comedy about terrorism would be, but Four Lions showed that you can make anything funny. So what’s the verdict on 50/50?


To immediately get things clear, I wouldn’t label this movie as a comedy. Yes, it stars Seth Rogen and yes, some jokes are made, but they feel like the kind of jokes people around you would make too to handle a difficult situation. I remember a few years back when my house almost was burnt down (luckily the fire department managed to extinguish it in time so it didn’t reach my house), but I was making jokes all day, just to deal with that very taxing situation. 50/50 does this in the same way.

It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, who is suffering from a pain in his back and is diagnosed with cancer. The movie tells his story about how he deals with the processes he has to go through and the issues (with the disease, but also with the ones close to him) he has to deal with. The cast in this is excellent and Gordon-Levitt was excellent. There was a moment in this movie that he broke down and it really moved me, something which I don’t experience that often. Seth Rogen does his usual funny stuff and is entertaining as always. If you are not a fan of him, nothing in this movie will change your opinion. Anna Kendrick is excellent as his inexperienced psychiatrist and after seeing her in Up In the Air she shows here that she’s able to take on different type of roles.

50/50 review

50/50 could be a description of this movie as it is a perfect mix of comedy and drama. It felt like a realistic depiction of dealing with cancer, which isn’t surprising as Seth Rogen wrote it together with Will Reiser. Reiser had cancer and recovered and used that experience. The subject matter might not make it an inviting movie to watch at the cinema, but it’s well worth watching it.

Score: 8

23 thoughts on “50/50 (2011)

  1. I just saw the movie last week :) I liked it too, I was going to see it anyway even it isn’t about cancer, just because I wanted to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a drama comedy movie. But I guess you are right, it’s more about drama I think. And the comedy seem to just lighten the heavy feeling.

  2. Perfectly balances out drama and comedy so well and the realistic performances from the whole cast, are what makes this my favorite film of the whole year. Great review Nostra.

  3. I liked it too, though I’m not sure I loved it. The Seth Rogen character annoyed me, but I guess his unappealling attitude made the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character seem more likeable to the audience. I’m surprised really they were friends, being so different.

    from Chris

  4. Honest, raw, sincere little dramedy. I liked it although I thought Seth Rogen’s character could have been given more to do than just be the comic relief guy.

  5. @Nostra: Seth Rogen was ok in freaks and geeks, the tv-show. I tend not to watch Judd Apatow’s movies, as I find his humour a bit vulgar, even if his movies do rake in millions. Humour as you know is very subjective

    Have a great Christmas! from Chris

  6. Nice review, Nostra, I saw this a while ago and found it very moving as well. Gordon-Levitt was spectacular, and even Rogen which I usually despise, is ok in this one. He’s so vulgar that I just cringe hearing him.

  7. I loved this movie, and I wish it were receiving more recognition here in the awards season. It was a perfect blend of drama and comedy, in my opinion. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

  8. I really did not want to see this movie as I thought it was going to be a downer. However, they managed to make a funny movie about cancer and I am still not sure how they pulled it off. This was one of the better films I saw this year.

    Whats with all the hating on Seth Rogen? That guy is a pisser and his character sticks by his sick friend through thick and thin. What some call vulgar humor I call keeping it real. Maybe I am just from the streets. Did you guys get raised in a convent or something?

    • Like you said they have managed to make it a realistic depiction of how someone might handle without it completely being a downer.

      I don’t understand the hate either, I like him in almost any movie he’s in.

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