- Director: Jonathan Levine
- Genre: Drama
- Cert: 15A
- Details: US / 100mins
- Release Date: 25/11/2011
Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a 27-year old teetotaller and fitness freak, who wants to take his relationship with Bryce Dallas Howard to the next level (he's given her a drawer). When Adam is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer he is given only a 50/50 chance of survival; things get worse when buddy Kyle (Rogen) wants to use his suffering to pull women and trainee therapist Katherine (Kendrick) doesn't have the experience to deal with this kind of thing...
What you got to ask yourself is this: is cancer funny? Inspired by writer Will Reiser's own battle with cancer, 50/50 attempts to see the lighter side of things but, importantly, it doesn't play cancer for laughs. This 'dramedy' likes to get personal with some lonely and desperate moments when it leaves the comedy behind, which it does very frequently. One scene sees a desperate Gordon-Levitt plead with Kendrick (and the world) not to ignore a friend's disease: it makes it worse, he says, and he'd feel a lot better if people would just say, 'You're dying, dude.' Afraid of bumming everyone out, Reiser and director Levine (The Wackness) quickly fall back on Rogen, who plays a version of himself (he is a friend of Reiser's) before things get too serious. Rogen brings the funny Rogen-style: he's crude, curses a lot, likes to get stoned and has that dirty laugh.
Gordon-Levitt is once again entirely likeable in a role that's tough to get the balance right: he can't be too flippant about his fears of dying, as the audience won't take it seriously, and he has to give it the necessary gravitas without depressing everyone. He gets it just right. Dallas Howard has the thankless task of being the movie bitch (again) but she's good at it. All Kendrick is asked to do is be sweet, which she can do in her sleep, but her character doesn't have anywhere to go. Knocking around in the background is fretting mum Anjelica Huston and chemo buddy Phillip Baker Hall; both are decent characters with a story to tell but Reiser's script ignores them.
Enjoyable but 50/50 just isn't funny enough for consistent laughs or dramatic enough to pull at the heartstrings.
Review by Gavin Burke | 09:00 | Friday 25th November 2011 | Movie Review
A comedy about cancer? You better believe it, but don't be put off by the subject matter. This is a really good film, sensitively handled and often very funny and bittersweet in equal measures. That's thanks to a wry, sharp script that's a celebration of life, like The Bucket List. It's also bolstered by solid performances all around but especially by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who successfully conveys his character's humour, anger and fear at being given a 50/50 chance of living through a rare form of cancer. The ultimate success of a film is whether you really care about the characters in it, because audience identification is so important. This film succeeds admirably in that regard. Highly recommended.Posted 19:02 | Sat 26th Nov 2011
Absolutely brilliant Movie, well worth going to see. I thought I would be put off by Seth Rogan, but actually wasnt! This film has a different storyline, and a range of emotions. Go see this movie!!!!Posted 10:38 | Mon 5th Dec 2011
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