- Film Festival
Seth Rogen delivers the levity and Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers the skull cap adorned heart, in this surprisingly funny drama about a 27 year-old battling cancer. Based on the real life of screenwriter, Will Reiser.
Not having read the synopsis before screening, it came as much as a surprise to me to hear Adam (Gordon-Levitt) had cancer, as it did for the character. The working title to this film had been "I'm with Cancer", had that remained the title, instead of 50/50, I would have been clued in to know to bring some tissues.
Although, it turns out the film delivers more tears from laughter than from sadness, due to Seth Rogen's (Kyle) quick quips, improvisation and juvenile outlook on life in general.
Adam is a writer/editor for radio. He's a nice guy, keeps in shape, earnest about not being late for work; tries to achieve perfection on even a 2 second spot; and is extremely understanding of his artist girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) who hasn't had sex with him for 2 months.
Having gone to the doctor with a complaint of minor back pain, it of course comes as a complete shock to Adam to be diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. You expect after this monumental revelation that the film will take on either an overly sentimental journey about life and love; become a Bucket List quest or become a "I've got nothing to lose" scenario like Queen Latifah in Last Holiday. It does none of that; but rather, keeps a steady pace. He doesn't go looking for specialists, although this would be the preference of his slightly overbearing mother, played by Angelica Huston. He accepts the hospital offered counselor, a 24 year-old newbie (Anna Kendrick) working on her doctorate with only two former patients under her belt.
In fact, it's Adam's acceptance, well, perhaps acceptance isn't quite the right word, but his ordinariness, that strikes a chord. Not everyone goes on a spiritual journey or completely falls apart when faced with the dreaded "C" word. Some people just follow the course set by their doctors and find themselves just dealing with it day to day.
Thankfully, measured with all of it, is a healthy dose of pop-culture references and a humorous and well-written bromance between Adam and Kyle.
50/50 is not set to hit theaters until September 30, 2011.
Next Member Sneak Preview: Tuesday, August 2nd - The Change Up