Movie #354 50/50
(2011, US, d. Jonathan Levine)
Before everyone starts coming at me for not having posted in a ridiculously long time, and without sounding like I’m making excuses – let me just say that I have finished my MAD Challenge and am now just catching up on reviews. This last year has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but more on that in the epilogue – now to the film. 50/50 is a surprisingly moving film. In all honesty though, if the filmmakers had failed with this film, it would have looked pretty bad on them for making a comedy about cancer. Written by Will Reiser and based partially off of a true story involving Seth Rogen and his friend, it is film for which its biggest accomplishment is its honesty. Marketed as a mix of the Superbad comedy with a dramatic edge, the humor in this film thankfully doesn’t stem from raunchiness for raunchiness’ sake. Rather, it comes from character and rather sad ones at that. Seth Rogen, in a very smart move, puts himself in the backseat of this film, allowing for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to really shine through as Adam, a man who’s given a 50/50 chance of living after being diagnosed with cancer. It is a film about acceptance, friendship, and family. It uses visual storytelling to propel itself, an uncommon trait to Rogen and his team, and though it does have its moments of dialogue-driven narrative, this is really honest dialogue and we can’t help but smile and laugh at it. At its core a romantic comedy, 50/50 does the rare job of getting a man to cry in a theater. I dare you not to cry at the end; or at least tear up. Funny and heartbreaking, it is probably the best mainstream comedy to hit theaters this year. And yes, I do include Bridesmaids on that list.