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50/50 (2011)

DVD Cover (Summit Entertainment)
Genres:
Comedy Drama, Medical Drama
Director:
Jonathan Levine Jonathan Levine
Starring:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Seth Rogen Seth Rogen
Anna Kendrick Anna Kendrick
Bryce Dallas Howard Bryce Dallas Howard
Anjelica Huston Anjelica Huston

7.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Lucid Dreams
Added: October 11, 2011
Cancer sucks; there is no better way to put it. It comes out of nowhere bringing hard days until it takes away our family and friends. 50/50 might seem like every Lifetime movie that involves a cancer patients last days, well, it sort of is, but it is much better than that. The movie is actually based on the writer's experience of having cancer. He probably thought this would make a great movie, and he was right.

Adam (Joseph Levitt) is your everyday kind of guy who is a writer for a radio program. He has a complicated relationship with his girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Howard), and a slacker of a best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), who has sex on the mind more than anything else. Adam decides to check in with the doctor due to a reoccurring pain in his back. Well, that pain turns out to be a rare form of cancer. He finds out that he has a 50/50 shot on surviving this. He wants to get through this the best he can, but it hard with a mother who was overbearing even before the cancer, Diane (Anjelica Huston). He later starts coming into meetings to see a doctor, or doctor in training, Katherine (Anna Kendrick), about dealing with the realization of his disease. Adam has a lot on his plate and would rather have everyone treat him like he wasn't going to die.

To me, cancer movies always follow the same pattern of a woman finding out she has cancer and realizes that life is worth exploring as she is dying. What the writer Will Reiser shows here are his actual experiences of dealing with cancer by bestowing amusing and touching moments. What separates this movie from the rest though is that it doesn't become cliché where you know every act before it happens. Jonathan Levine (director) put together a good blend of comedy and drama without one overlapping the other. It isn't perfect, but it sure beats the rest of these teary cancer dramas.

What really brings the whole thing together is Joseph Levitt's acting. There is something about his acting that just draws you in. He played every scene perfectly and didn't seem like he was trying hard at all. Seth Rogen, well, plays the same damn character in every movie you have seen him in, but this character was actually needed in this one. He had some of the best lines and I was shocked on how much he was needed to make this work. Bryce Howard is someone who can really pull off any part she plays in. You really despise her character by the end of this movie. Anna Kendrick was very cute, but also played a typical character. She did the fast talking ditsy girl very good while she and Joseph Levitts had good chemistry. Last, would be Anjelica Huston is a very good actress. I've always enjoyed her work and she did well in here too.

Overall: This would be my movie of the year. I usually never cry in a movie, but this one had me fighting back tears by the end of it. If you aren't into these types of comedy dramas I would still say give it a shot. The story may not be to your liking, but the acting was very entertaining and I'm sure I will be buying this one when it comes out on DVD. 9/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 10/24/2011, 09:53 PM
9/10. Terrific and one of the best films of the year. This one will be wholly under-appreciated come awards time and that's a shame. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does some damned fine acting here and Anjelica Huston is so memorable as his mother. Love, love, loved this movie.
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