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Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old nice guy with an artist girlfriend and a fulfilling job.
All seems to be going well for him until he visits the doctor, complaining of recurring back pain. Adam is surprised to receive the news that he has cancer.
What ensues is a heartfelt and genuinely moving film about Adam’s understanding of this disease and how he deals with it.
All around him people are saying what they feel they should, “You are fine, you’re going to be fine”. Even his best friend Kyle (played by Seth Rogen in true Rogen form) is disturbed by the ailment and tries to help Adam maintain a normal life as well as taking advantage of it.
His girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas-Howard) puts on a brave face and his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston) is, to say the least, overbearing.
Through all this dramedy, Adam meets a younger inexperienced therapist named Katherine (Anna Kendrick) as part of his treatment. The two are awkward with each other, partly because Katherine is new and unsure how to handle Adam but mostly because Adam is circling through the cycle of grief and unsure how to deal with himself.
Not only is Adam handling his own comprehension but he is also trying to deal with everyone’s pain.
There are times in this film when I was unsure whether to laugh or be shocked as the humour is funny as well as being shockingly honest. I had a big connection to this film as I’ve had a family member pass on from cancer and therefore I could relate to what was happening. I cried during one scene that sparked very emotional memories.
However, even people without this familiarity will enjoy a movie with a great cast with superb performances.
Director Jonathan Levine hits this indie flick out of the park. It is a heartfelt piece of cinema that has great insight into how a young man deals with mortality and disease without being cheesy and sappy.
50/50 is no half-ass film, it is a 100 percent enjoyable movie. This is why I give it 4.5/5.
INFO: Kylan Luke-McKeen is the presenter and film reviewer for Kiss My Arts on JOY94.9 (Mondays 9-10pm). You can view his work and other film reviews at www.kylanmckeen.com
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston