50/50 was a 2011 comedy-drama movie about a man facing cancer. That's right. Even I didn't think I'd use the words comedy and cancer in the same sentence, but I did. It starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston. It was written by Will Reiser and directed by Jonathan Levine.
The premise of the story was serious, one that had instantly encouraged sympathy from other people. One that had always made people cringe. Despite having such a touchy subject, the movie tackled it in a comical, calm manner. Movies about illnesses tend to dramatize the situations, and for good reason because these life events are dangerous, and painful. Having cancer is something we all don't want to go through. This film however showcased another side of the story. It was about a man's fight against death, with an attitude that differs from probably most of cancer victims. Gordon-Levitt's Adam was one that was filled with frustration and despair, but also of a positive outlook, and hope.
If you saw the movie, you'd realize that the movie was anything but dramatic. Sure, there were scenes when it became heavy, and heartbreaking. But just as I was getting into it, something or someone would break it. Most of the time it was Seth Rogen's Kyle offering some sexual, nasty joke in light of Adam's situation. Even Adam took things lightly, until the reality of the gravity of his situation really dawned on him. But for the most part, the movie remained calm and collected.
Actually, the core of the movie could be found in its dialogue. While the movie offered up some hilarious scenarios, one must listen to the lines being thrown by these actors to fully grasp the true message of the movie. It wasn't about not caring. It was about accepting and learning. It was about knowing that people would be there for you when you need them. It was about not giving up hope that someway things would get better. It wasn't about disregarding fear as it was about acknowledging it and putting up a fight. The movie seemed like an anti-thesis to what we normally see in movies with a similar premise. However, if you listen closely, it said the exact same things, only in a different manner.
This was also the movie wherein Joseph Gordon-Levitt showcased and boasted his range and versatility as an actor. His role here demanded a variety of emotions, of feelings and actions. He nailed every single one of them. Seth Rogen was also very commendable as he portrayed a funny, yet sensitive guy. The movie showed his character as being the goofy, horny person, but deep down inside he just really cared for his friend. Anna Kendrick was very convincing indeed, both in her role as a young therapist, and as a lover of Adam. She looked stunning and her talent just came through. Bryce Dallas Howard was also great in this, as she as dynamic.
I really recommend this movie. 50/50 was a genuinely heartwarming comedy movie. I'm glad it got all the recognition it deserved and actually fared well in the box office considering its budget. I do hope that more people would be able to see it. It was touching and highly entertaining at the same time. And it also features Joseph Gordon-Levitt at his best.
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