Thursday, September 22, 2011


A likable 27 year old living a normal ordered life receives a cancer diagnosis and begins to deal with an overbearing mother, a cold girlfriend, a kind but greenhorned grief counselor, and his caring yet opportunistic best friend. Directed by Jonathan Levine from a screenplay by Will Reiser which is said to be based on personal experience, "50/50" seems to be awfully standard issue, offering a buddy film which cranks up the emotions when the gravity of the disease worsens. And yet, the routine story is elevate by a gifted cast led by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a another fine performance playing a young man whose life is so ordered he won't even drive or jaywalk out of safety concerns until he has this proverbial wrench thrown into life. Gordon-Levitt brings credibility to the role as he plays a seriously distressed man damnly trying to conceal his terror. Seth Rogen is funny and endearing, something he hasn't been in awhile and Bryce Dallas Howard is good as the self-centered girlfriend who doesn't no how to respond to the disease. I liked scenes involving JGL's interaction with older cancer patients played by Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer, and the best scenes in the film involve the great Anjelica Huston as his mother, and Anna Kendrick as the sweet therapist. "50/50" is enjoyable, but I expected more out of it (the cinematography is not particularly inspired). Still, the cast is wonderful and gives weight to the lackluster material.