Saturday, October 15, 2011
It's very difficult to make a humorous film about cancer but "50/50" manages to balance both sensitivity and humor very well. Based on a true story, it's emotional but not melodramatic and sometimes outrageously funny due to a well balanced script.
Joseph Gordon Levitt, excellent as always, plays Adam, a young man diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. We follow his story from discovery through treatment and eventual results. Adam's best friend is played by Seth Rogan, who delivers the funniest lines but also delivers a heartfelt performance. Adam's girlfriend is played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who after starring in "The Help" and now this, has a great career ahead as the girl you love to hate.
The film also stars Anna Kendrick as a young therapist trying to help Adam through his struggle and Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer as fellow cancer patients who have an strong impact on Adam. Anjelica Houston plays Adam's mother. Welcome back, Ms. Houston. We've missed you and this part shows why. She's terrific in all her scenes.
I found the ending to be a bit rushed but otherwise "50/50" is worth your time. If you can deal with the subject matter, bring a box of tissues but also be prepared to laugh.