’50/50′ is Heartwarming and Hilarious

Joseph Gordon Levitt prepares to shave his head while Seth Rogen can't watch

I was able to see an early showing of 50/50 with other people at my university. There’s just something about seeing a movie with a group of people who actually want to see the movie with you. Even thought I got to see this movie for free, I would have been happy to spend ten dollars on in. It’s that good.

The movie is an experience that will vary from person to person. Anyone who has known someone with cancer, gone through major surgery, or dealt with mortality will be able to connect with this movie. It’s a universal movie. And it will probably hit you. Hard.

50/50 is a comedy, lets not get that wrong. But the heart and soul of the movie is threaded throughout, so the humor never becomes dull or out of place. Some of the funniest moments for the audience includes when he breaks up with his girlfriend, tells his mother about his cancer, and shaves his head. The humor is dealt with in a way that adds humanity to the characters, instead of creating a farce or a tasteless comedy.

I know that the producers had a very difficult time casting the lead role of Adam, because actors kept dropping out, but I can’t imagine anyone for the role but Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He has his sweet awkwardness found in others of his movies like “500 Days of Summer”. He has great comedic timing, which has been apparent since “3rd Rock From the Sun”, but it has matured greatly since then. Adam has a wonderful story arc, and just when you think he couldn’t hold on to his macho face any longer – he can’t. The last act of the movie allows him to show off the most of his dramatic acting chops, when he breaks from the pressure and has to go into surgery.

Seth Rogen is perfect in his role. His comedy works perfectly for the entire movie, but lurking underneath his shallow exterior is a friend who truly cares about Adam’s survival. There is one scene with him that has been known to make grown men cry. Bryce Dallas Howard is delightfully annoying and bitchy. I don’t understand her character’s life choices. Really. She has problems or something.  Anna Kendrick is great as well.

The one problem in the movie is the ending. It seems just a little too forced and concise, but not enough that its ruined. No, you don’t get to know if he lives or dies, it’s the journey to that point that counts.

50/50 runs 99 minutes

Rated R for language, drug use, and some sexual content

Grade: A

2 thoughts on “’50/50′ is Heartwarming and Hilarious

  1. I’m not sure what to make of this review,,,,,,,

    …….but I will go and watch it because I like JG-L so much and I want to see Bryce Dallas Howard again after her excellent role in The Help. Seth Rogan and Anna Kendrick are also usually pretty solid……

    ……..so after the disaster that was Bridesmaids I loved the bounce between JT & Mila Kunis in the well written Friends with Benefits & then followed that up with the really well cast and excellent script of Horrible Bosses.

    So I’m in the mood to be entertained by comic relief with a story that seems to also have heart.

    I look forward to this offering……..I think!

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