movie thoughts: 50/50 (2011)


In “50/50”, 27 year old Adam (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out he has a very rare form of cancer.  Adam, who never drinks, smokes, obeys traffic signals – never even learned how to drive because of the statistics – suddenly finds himself faced with his own mortality. 

Really, 50/50 doesn’t offer a whole lot NEW in way of story.  Seth Rogen plays Kyle, Adam’s best friend who is his exact opposite – drinking, smoking, fooling around with lots of ladies (though this is the calmest I’ve ever seen Rogen…he was actually playing an adult!).  Bryce Dallas-Howard plays Rachael, Adam’s estranged girlfriend who decides to stay with him after he tells her about his disease.  Angelica Houston is Adam’s mother, who reacts to the news the way any parent would. 

The only stand-out character is Anna Kendrick, who plays Katherine, Adam’s not-quite-yet-a-psychiatrist (since he goes to a teaching hospital for his treatment for some unexplained reason).  She is 24 and working on her doctorate and Adam is only her third patient.  Of course, she is thrown by his youth. 

50/50 is very watchable, mostly because of the cast (did I mention Anna Kendrick is in this movie?  Seriously, she is so awesome, I love her).  The story is what you would expect, but it’s the ensemble that makes you want to stay with the film until the end to see how it all turns out.  It is not “uproariously funny” as the box claimed, but it does have some chuckle-worthly moments.  It’s just a story of a life, so there is some natural humor and natural meloncholy.  If you’re a fan of any of these actors, it’s worth a look. 

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