Directed by Jonathan Levine
Written by Will Reiser
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall, Andrew Airlie, Serge Houde and Anjelica Huston
I was very bored and I wanted to see a movie that is not the typical Hollywood fare. Scrolling through the On Demand choices, I settled on 50/50. I have heard of the movie when it was called "I'm with Cancer", It was based on Seth Rogen's friend, the screenwriter Will Reiser's story about how he had cancer and recovered from it. The movie is a heartfelt look at how cancer can affect everyone around you.
Complaining of chronic back pains, Adam (Gordon-Levitt) has a routine physical to see what is going on with him. His doctor, Dr.Ross (Airlie) tells him blunt that he has a rare form of spinal cancer. Adam is in a daze, as he should be. The difficult part is that he has to tell all of the people in his life. His best friend, Kyle (Rogen) tries to get Adam's spirits up as he gone through the cancer treatments.
Let me get this out of the way. In the first couple of scenes, I thought it was going to be a grown up Superbad or something. Seth Rogen's character got under my skin. It feels in every movie, Rogen has to play the foul mouthed, pot smoking jerkoff. It's getting tired. In what universe where these two friends, except that work at an NPR knockoff radio station. Kyle was basically using Adam's condition to get chicks. I found that appalling. Bryce Dallas Howard's character (Adam's girlfriend, Rachael) was transparent. I knew what her true intentions were before Adam got his diagnosis. Anna Kendrick plays a doctor-in-training that is assigned to counsel Adam in his time of crisis. I wish that there wasn't something between them.
I enjoyed the subplot of Adam's mother Diane (Huston) caring for her husband Richard (Houde) that has Alzheimer's. Also, there was bonding Adam was following cancer patients, Alan (Hall) and Mitch (Frewer) when getting chemo that I loved. I thought that JoGo was very good in the lead performance here. I cannot imagine seeing James McAvoy in this movie at all.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but the Kyle character brought the film down. There was also some scenes that would seem out of character for a person going through chemo would actually do.