50/50

Adam is a normal guy. Lives in Seattle, works in public radio, hangs with his buddy, has a hot girlfriend, has cancer…

Wait. What’s that last part? Has cancer? Oh man…what a downer! Or…is it? In this film, which is based on the real life of writer Will Reiser, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)  is somewhat of a recluse but manages to find a little hope and humor in his situation. With the help of his best friend Kyle, they hope to beat the odds…which aren’t bad considering the internet gives him a 50/50 shot of recovering from the cancerous tumor that has attached itself to his spinal column.

This realistic look at cancer and how it affects a person is a unique perspective given that it’s such a dire topic. Director Jonathan Levine takes Reiser’s script and gives it life, following Adam through his daily routines and introducing him to others who are suffering from cancer as well. With the help of Seth Rogan, who plays Adam’s best friend Kyle, this film blooms in a way that few do simply because of the humor that Rogan brings to the role. The banter between he and Gordon-Levitt make the situation bearable and both bring their own styles into the roles with Gordon-Levitt making Adam a quiet, inward personality and Rogan’s Kyle bringing the sarcasm and humor that draws him out.

I pretty much liked everything about this movie. It definitely has a personality that allows it to shine like a really good indie should. Great performances throughout that include Bryce Dallas-Howard as Adam’s selfish girlfriend Rachel, Anjelica Houston is perfectly cast as Adam’s mother and Anna Kendrick seemingly reprises her role as Natalie in “Up In The Air” as therapist Katherine. She has almost the same “ticks” as Natalie and its a role that works well for her. And, of course, Rogan and Gordon-Levitt shine in their roles as well.

A few added bonuses to this movie…the soundtrack and the location. With the location being in Seattle, this allows for a top-notch soundtrack, highlighting alt-rock bands such as Pearl Jam, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes & Cut Copy. So that is a plus!

Overall Rating: B

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