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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Drama (Comedy)
Rated: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed By: Jonathan Levine
Rating: 7 out of 10
A young man is diagnosed with cancer and it details his struggle in fighting the disease.

I finally watched this film after it sat on my shelf for  over a year. I had to build up my desire to watch a movie dubbed, “The Cancer Movie”. Cancer has been a very prevalent presence in my family history, so finding humor in it seemed impossible to me. I was pleased to find out that I was incorrect. While this film is not uproariously funny as the DVD cover suggests, it is humorous and has an engaging story. 50/50 is the story of Adam. At the young age of 27, he is diagnosed with cancer and we follow his battle in trying to conquer the disease.

The film starts off and we are introduced to Adam as he goes about his everyday life. He has an attractive girlfriend named Rachael, a best friend in Kyle, and a job at a local radio station. He is as happy as can be with only some recurring back pain to complain about. That is all about to change as he gets some devastating news that he has a rare form of spinal cancer. From this point on, the film is a wonderfully wrought tale of relationships and how they are affected by this terrible disease. Adam struggles to find a balance between an over bearing mom, an unreliable girlfriend, and an immature best friend. As Adam gets treatment for cancer, he starts to look worse and worse but he never gives up hope. Humor can be found in the strangest of places in this movie. It can be found as Adam is sitting next to a crotchety old man at the hospital. It can be found through Kyle using Adam’s cancer as a way to pick up women. It can also be found in the awkwardness of Adam having to shave his own head using Kyle’s ball clippers. The humor has a way of alleviating the awfulness of the situation and makes you forget the cancer for a while. What I really liked about this film though, were the people’s reactions to Adam. A work party where Adam is forced into talking to many different acquaintances, shows how uncomfortable things can get when someone has cancer. The long awkward pauses, the inane small talk, and the random emotional outbursts, were all captured perfectly in this. The film will have you smiling at a well timed joke, but more often than not you will smile at a well timed conversation.

Adam is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he was up to the very hard task of playing a cancer patient. His pallid complexion, coupled with his positive outlook really comes across as honest. At the end of the day, Gordon-Levitt is just a likeable dude in this film. You go through the ups and downs with him because you feel his pain. Because of this fact the other characters just all fit somehow. Kyle is played by the funny Seth Rogen and offers up 90 percent of this movies comedy. While Rogen’s dramatic acting skills are clearly lacking in this, the movie wouldn’t be nearly as good without his jokes and his desire for casual sex. Anna Kendrick plays Adam’s therapist and Bryce Dallas Howard plays Adam’s girlfriend, and both offer up solid performances.

Most people will like this movie for its humor, I found I liked it for the story. Following Adam from his chemotherapy appointments, to his therapy sessions, and to his doctor appointments, make you appreciate how scary cancer truly is. Adam still needs to live his life though, so walking his dog and hitting the town with Kyle still shows you how strong he is. As the film comes to an end it will teach you that comedy can be found in very dark places. Will the disease claim his life? Or will Adam beat it? Watch to find out. In conclusion, this film is so well written that it needs to be watched. The power of the film lies in the peoples varied reactions in dealing with Adam, and the well crafted humor eases the pressure off the more hard to watch scenes. The film is slow though and if you are expecting a comedy for the ages, you may be left disappointed.    

This is the first movie I have seen from director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) but I am impressed with this. He breaks the film up very well. For every scene where Adam fights with his mom, there is a scene where Adam smokes pot with Kyle. For every scene where Adam throws up from the chemo, there is a scene where Adam and Kyle go out drinking. The offsetting of depressing scenes with funny scenes will make most viewers appreciate the film. The casting was sound and the humor never seemed tasteless even in the face of death. The film was written by Will Reiser and details his own personal struggle with the disease, and the realism is evident in almost every scene.

I give this movie a recommendation and while the title implies 50 percent, I say 100 percent you should watch this.

T Factor + If you like dramatic comedies then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Funny People, Juno.

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