An emotional, but sweet and funny account of a young mans battle with cancer

Directed by: Jonathan Levine    Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt       Review by: Mitchell Burns
                                                                  Seth Rogen                                     4 1/2 / 5 Stars
                                                                  Anna Kendrick
                                                                  Anjelica Huston
                                                                  Bryce Dallas Howard


Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a 27 year old with a pretty girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), and a best friend with a potty mouth and a dirty mind, Kyle (Seth Rogen). He has an overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston) and a father with Alzheimer’s (Serge Houde). He has a dream job as a journalist and Life is going pretty well for Adam, until he is told by the doctor that he has cancer. 
As you can guess from the title of the movie, it’s an aggressive cancer with only a 50% chance of survival. The cancer, as much as Adam resists, shakes up his life and the live of all the people around him. he’s forced to push people away, get closer to people, and see the true colors of the people that are closest to him. 
Adam reluctantly goes to a therapist (Anna Kendrick) who is young and slightly inexperienced, but much to Adam’s surprise she helps him. Adam also meets two people, Mitch (Matt Frewer) and Alan (Philip Baker Hall) and befriends them. 
50/50, despite being a comedy, feels Authentic, the characters aren’t forged, there real. 50/50 knows when to joke, when to be serious, when to make us cry and I think this stems from the screenwriter, Will Reiser, who based the story on his own battle with cancer. 
I love the connection between Anna Kendrick and Levitt, I have not rooted for two characters to be together as much as I did these two in a long time. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character added a different, unique aspect to the movie, you like her, then you hate her, then you like her, then you hate her. After Howard’s much hated role in The Help, and now this role, she may typecast herself as the bitch. Although, she’s great at it. Angelica Huston, who I haven’t seen act in forever, is wonderful. The three mains, Levitt, Rogen and Kendrick knock it out of the park too, they are three of my favorite actors under 30. Rogen and Levitt are probably the most genuine characters in the whole movie, there relationship and fights and complications feel genuine. I think the writer had a friend just like Rogen’s character.

My only complaint about 50/50, is that not a single doctor, specialist, or therapist in the entire movie knows what they are doing, or how to act professionally. The doctor that tells Adam about his cancer does such a terrible job that Adam leaves with more questions than answers and has to resort to the Internet. His therapist, Kendrick, is new but doesn’t know how to handle Adam on many occasions. It’s an issue that allows for many laughs, but it is a bit silly when you think about it.

50/50 is a wonderful, sweet, funny and wonderfully uplifting story, and a great representation of the struggles cancer takes to get through, not only on the sick but on the people in their life.

-Mitch Burns

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