09/07/2013

50/50 (2011)

Film: 50/50
Release: 2011, theatrical
Starring: Joseph Gordon Lewitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window
Description: The young radio-editor Adam finds out he has a rare form of genetic spinal cancer. The movie follows his experiences with trying to cope with it.

Hans' thoughts:

So when I heard that this movie was a comedy about cancer starring Seth Rogen, I didn't exactly jump for joy. Cancer is a touchy subject to say the least, and Rogen is a very silly actor.

Suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised, this movie not only manages to be touching, it manages to capture the pressure that everyone is under when someone in the family is going through something awful. I really like that, I feel that a lot of fiction dealing with something like this, medical tv-shows in particular, only focus on what the person dealing with the decease have to go through. They tend to forget that the rest of the family and friends is dealing with the potential loss of someone close to them. This movie addresses that part pretty well, without over-simplifying the problems of the main character.

I also feel that the comedy of this movie was pretty good. The problem with reviewing comedy is of course that everyone has their own sense of humor. But I think the jokes were general enough that anyone could "get" them. They manage to keep the funny parts funny, and the serious parts.. well, serious. It's actually a pretty big compliment from my side as not many movies get that balance right. Either they make it completely comedic or they just wallow in tragedy, making the movie watching experience almost unbearable.

I'll recommend this movie to couples especially, it sits close to what many would call "chick flicks" but without being overly dramatic or romantic. The men in the couples will actually manage to keep awake for this one, mostly due to the presence of Seth Rogen as the main characters best friend. Does this movie have failed jokes? Well. Yes. There are some of the jokes related to his job that kinda fall flat - mostly because we don't actually see that much of his day-to-day life. What we see is mostly circumstantial.

All in all, this ended up not being a comedy with a dramatic centerpiece, but rather a pretty touching drama with a couple of jokes thrown in to lighten the mood. Are the actors good? Well, while Seth Rogen does his job pretty well, I have to say that Lewitt himself felt kind of - wooden. There wasn't very much of an expression on his face most of the time and sometimes his delivery just felt read aloud. He was better than some of the minor bi-roles but not by much. Especially the two female leads in the movie were very two-dimensionally written. But I guess that's the terms of writing romance as a sub-plot. It makes it feel kinda forced if it isn't done well.
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