50/50: Movie Review

50/50: Movie Review

Comedy is such a huge genre in the movie scene and it’s usually the most fun to watch with large groups of people, but these days it seems there are usually only three types of comedies. The first is the children’s comedy: the movies that would be funny if you were four. But let’s face it, eating glue is funny when you’re four. So this is not  a huge accomplishment. The second is the crude-humor comedy. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a couple of these films every now and then, I mean they’re usually fairly funny. But with all the profanity and inappropriate jokes sometimes these films aren’t much more complicated than children’s movies, they’re just meant for an older audience. The third comedy is the romantic comedy: fairy tales for grown-ups. Painfully predictable, yet somehow almost always heartwarming.

50/50 is a film that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories. The film tells the story  of Adam (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I know this one-sentence synopsis of the movie sounds absolutely nothing like a comedy, but that’s because 50/50 is not just a comedy or even the drama that my previous sentence made it out to be. It’s both: half comedy, half drama. It’s half and half, 50/50. (Get it, it’s punny).

The movie is spent showing how Adam’s cancer affects him, his love life, his family, and his friendships. With many of the serious aspects of the movie coming from how Adam deals with the first three, the comedic relief in the movie is usually found in Adam’s best friend, Kyle (played by Seth Rogen).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen are fantastic in this movie. They are able to switch flawlessly between the emotional heartfelt moments brought about  by the harsh reality that is cancer and the carefree moments that best friends seem to experience together no matter happens in life. Levitt, again, proves to be such a versatile actor. I promise that you could throw him into any movie and he would succeed (compare his role in 50/50 to his roles in films like Inception or Hesher). And although Levitt is the real star of the film, it wouldn’t be the same without Rogen. He helps lighten the mood that sometimes can be really dark, because at times the movie reaches a place that is all too real – with most of us at least knowing one person who has been afflicted with cancer.

The film is rated R for language throughout, sexual content, and some drug use; but honestly I would say that anyone in high school should be fine viewing it. I thought 50/50 was one of the best films of the year. It pulled on the heartstrings but at the same time made my stomach ache from laughing so hard. It had the perfect balance between both the worlds of drama and comedy (both of the crude-humor and romantic comedy styling). But along with it’s terrific acting, I’d say that it was this balance that makes the movie so great and so memorable.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars