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Movie Review: 50/50

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 6 years and 3 months ago

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ere’s a film that’s been screening for weeks and using my strategy to not lose any feeling for it (among other things), I waited till week of its release to embark on what I’ve been hearing is one of the year’s best comedies, however, I’d like to refer to as “dramedy,” and with great pleasure…I say, yes! This is indeed one of the best films this year as a whole. I wouldn’t say simply due to its comedy, but due to its cleverness on being able to take such a downer form of health issue and make it endearing, joyful and oddly fun. 

What lured my interest with this film stems from a personal core of health issue, I, personally, encountered a few years ago which entailed possible blindness. With an unknown feeling like when shades would be pulled down on me, I was going fucking nuts, didn’t know who to turn to, what to do, say or even feel, and as I slowly fell on a downward-spiral, in comes my personal Seth Rogen who literally shook me, got me to view things differently and helped place me in a direction which I’m totally grateful for and will never forget, because, its led to little things like having had the opportunity to meet good people and land cool things like this outlet, which enables me to yap about films like 50/50.

Inspired by a true story (50/50 Writer Will Reiser): Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) has a pretty damn good life—with a talented, sexy girlfriend and a cool job with NPR, the 27-year old seems to have it all. But when Adam discovers he has a rare and possibly fatal form of cancer, his entire life turns chaotic. As his world starts to unravel in every way, Adam finds himself dealing with the well-meaning but totally outrageous attempts by his friends and family to make it all better. His best friend, Kyle (Rogen), uses Adam's condition to lure girls into sympathy sex, his overbearing mother (Huston) loses sight of him in her own fears, his otherwise-occupied girlfriend, Rachael (Dallas Howard) tries to distract herself an increasingly frantic social life, and Katherine, the inexperienced therapist (Kendrick) assigned to his case, struggles to keep up with the needs of her third client ever.

What I’m sure most who watch this film will realize is a huge chunk of the brilliance in this piece comes from one of the most natural on-screen duos I think we’ll ever see. Rogen is one of the smoothest, natural and easy-to-watch / relate to actors Hollywood has to offer in this day and age. This guy has the ability to draw your attention-span with a feeling like you’re actually sharing a scene with him. He’s one of a handful of actors that can make you feel like you actually know and can relate to ALL his characters---which do not fall too far from his real life personality. On the flip, working off him so well is Gordon-Levitt. Throughout the past year, he’s played some interesting roles which are way off Rogen’s radar (or even level), but taking all that overly artistic bru-ha-ha away, and toning it down to just being your average-Joe-undergoing-a-personal-issue was simply brilliant.

The comedy in 50/50 goes beyond maintaining sentimentality at bay, with both showing how the affection between male friends can be smuggled into ball-busting and gallows humor… In support form, the same can be said for Angelica Huston, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anna Kendrick, who play the opposite end of how two good friends are handling it. An overbearing mother, a denying girlfriend and therapist who seems a bit lost due to inexperience.  

With the film’s edge of cancer flowing through everyone’s mind, what’s interesting is the implications to which are subtly displayed. And what’s that? Well, that it’s possible to accentuate the positive from something that stands on negative strength. And that my friend comes from the screen-play which may come off a bit sappy to some, but has the power to take a mindset and morph it into something admirable.

Well paced, acted and presented, 50/50 is a film that’ll be talked about for a while. In the budget department, it may not carry much weight, but the core of a film’s power comes and goes beyond the almighty dollar, therefore, a solid watch! 



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