Review of 50/5050/50 is one of the best and most engaging films to come out in a while.
By: Michael Freund, Sibley Scribe
50/50 is a movie about a young man who gets a form of cancer that has 50% survival rate. But there are much better odds that you will enjoy this movie. This movie has a perfect balance of highs and lows, flawless acting, and an engaging plot. Albeit a few pacing issues, this is one of the best movies to come out in a while.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a twenty-seven year old man named Adam who is surprised by the news that he has contracted a rare form of cancer despite his healthy lifestyle. He immediately undergoes chemotherapy and begins to see an appealing psychologist (Anna Kendrick) to help him deal with his semi-impending death. His womanizing foul-mouthed friend Kyle, expertly played by Seth Rogen, is there to help him through the tough times while bringing some humor into the situation. Together they reach the highest highs and lowest lows of the movie, from using cancer to pick up girls to complete mental breakdowns. But, the story is first and foremost Adam’s journey.
You may think it would be hard to write a comedy about cancer but 50/50 accomplishes it with ease and class. The movie soars with its wide range of humor from Seth Rogen’s overt foul-mouthed antics to the laughably awkward silences between Adam and his psychologist. There isn’t a dull moment throughout the whole 100 minutes. At a few points it brings you down into the pits of despair but generally it keeps you going at an average state of humor and introspection.
Most of all what sets this movie apart is how engaging it is. Adam and Kyle are good contrasts of each other and there is something in each one of them that everyone can relate to. It’s one of a diminishing amount of movies where you actually feel for the characters. This feat is accomplished by making the characters with depth that you can relate to.
My one complaint with the movie is the pacing. There are a couple different parts of the movie that I would like to see more or less of. Mainly at the beginning of the movie Kyle hits on one of his co-workers for a significant amount of time and then she just drops out of the story line. Another pacing issue was Adam’s interaction with his therapist. For the amount of time the movie shows of them together their relationship seems overdeveloped.
Overall it’s a very good movie and as long as you’re not looking for problems with it, it’s a rather flawless movie. I would recommend going to see this movie with a buddy that you’d feel comfortable crying in front of. I wouldn’t recommend it for a date because a major theme in the movie is questioning the strength of relationships. This is the best movie to come out in a while so savor the moment because I don’t know how long it’ll be until another one like this comes along.
50 / 50 is still playing in a couple of theaters, but you should be able to stream it soon.