Film : 50/50 Gets Emotional

Consider this your SPOILER ALERT. You know exactly how “50/50” is going to end from the very beginning. The plot goes like this: impossibly young man gets a rare form of cancer, triumphs against his 50/50 odds and gets the girl in the end. Despite it’s predictability, there are some great moments along the way, carried largely on the back of a strong performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

It’s a pity he gets little help from his supporting cast. Anna Kendrick’s bottled up and inexperienced counselor persona is reminiscent enough of her “Up in the Air” character, I wondered if she’s playing herself. Seth Rogen plays the same role you’ve come to know him for – the witty and sarcastic, but loyal bro with a just-beneath-the-surface warm fuzziness. I could have overlooked his sameness (because he is dang good at it), if not for the cheap finding of a book that proves his true loyalty – a regurgitated trick from “Knocked Up.” It seems the easiest known vehicle to reveal his underbelly is for the object of Seth’s affections to find a book (in this case, a title about coping with a loved ones’ cancer) earmarked in his bathroom.

I will say this, it’s got a lot of laughs. But it certainly needs the qualifier. For a cancer movie. Selling it as a comedy doesn’t do the film any favors. The movie is at its best when it finally reckons with the gravity of the situation and lets the vulnerabilities of the characters develop. I confess, as much as I had a hard time with some of the script and acting, the movie got me. It took me for that lump-in-the-throat, emotional ride. It’s impossible to totally dismiss a film that can deliver me from glassy eyes to grateful for life. For that alone, it just might be worth catching.

Catch it in theaters September 30, 2011. Watch the trailer here:

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  • Jay Lo

    March 22, 2012 [ 1:24 pm ]

    Great article and clip! I was pleased with this movie when at first I didn’t care much to view it. My coworker from DISH insisted that I give it a chance. I did and I wish I’d saw the movie sooner. I’m a movie junkie so I watch as many movies on DISH as I can when I’m not working. My DISH online feature has been my best friend it’s a great place to catch my TV shows as well as movies. Access to live TV, pulling off the DVR and more make it a fantastic tool. I take my laptop or iPad with me to view movies and shows on the run or when I’m in a motel and there’s nothing good on TV.

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