banner image

:: 50/50

The response you normally get when you say “hey there is this comedy about cancer coming out” is “a comedy about cancer… that’s wrong” or “a comedy about cancer…are you serious?” Those responses were to be expected but what wasn’t expected was just how good 50/50 was to watch. This is actually a tasteful comedy about cancer that in some ways can educate the public to what it is like to go through a battle with cancer.

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kyle (Seth Rogen) are not only colleagues but also best friends, although Adam would sometimes deny that, especially when Kyle is criticising the fact that Adam is dating Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard).

Then Adam’s world comes crashing down. Shortly after learning that he has a rare cancer in his back he finds his relationship with Rachael in tatters. Adam must use his own strength to get through the fight while be able to lean on his student-psych, Katherine (Anna Kendrick), keeping his mother, Diane (Anjelica Huston) calm and hoping that Kyle can step up and become the friends he has always hoped he can be.

Screenwriter, Will Reiser actually needs to be congratulated for the way his script manages to not only be sensitive to cancer and cancer patients but also remaining laugh-out-loud funny. And its not as if Reiser holds back, some of the comedy sees Seth Rogen at his crassest… and it is guaranteed that you will be laughing hard.

Thankfully for director, Jonathan Levine the story isn’t too predictable either. Things seem to come out of leftfield and even the friendship between Adam and Katherine runs an unusual path… no stereotypes or clichés to be found anywhere.

The person who really steals the show here is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sometimes it becomes easy to forget what a fine actor he is, then along comes a film like 50/50 and ones again you are reminded that he is one of the most underrated actors of our time. He is well supported by Rogen who seems to enjoy the comedy-mixed-with-a-bit-of-meat role. Also stepping up is Anna Kendrick who is showing that she has more to offer than what we have seen in Twilight.

50/50 is a comedy with heart that can also educate loved ones about what it is like to have cancer. This is one of the better comedy to surface in recent times.