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 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.