Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs, and his life is turned upside down by the blindsiding news that he was a rare form of cancer. With the help of friends and family Adam must learn to adapt to new emotions and feeling, while trying to keep his head up and remain positive.
Its hard to think of a perfect summation of what 50/50 is, there are so many good elements of cinema present it is very hard to narrow down one way of describing how 50/50 makes you feel and what you are thinking about. The film ties in all the components of real life and sadness, but continues to make the scenes funny, but you never get the sense that a joke has been taken to far.
50/50 deals an appropriate amount of scenes that make you laugh and scenes that make you tear up. It keeps a sombre undertone, while the primary focus is the humorous uplifting moments. The impending scenes of how Adams sickness changes him are always lingering, keeping a somewhat tight leash on the humour and where they are taking it. Somehow it never seems forced, there are two sides to life, the one with our parents and the one with out friends. Lets be honest here we have all made a wise joke at the expense of something that was deemed to be off limits. The tight-lipped humour allows this picture to carry a melodramatic and lamentable mood through out the film. The humour always maintains a relevance to the story, it may be profanity laced at times as it exits the mouth of the un-censorable Seth Rogen but it keeps its focus.
The movie not only takes us on a personal journey of writer Will Reiser, and his struggles with cancer but it takes us on this incredible journey of these characters that are loosely based of the personal stories of Reisers friendship with Seth Rogen. Rogen is playing the role here in the film that he played in real life. Rogen falls into with relative ease, its seemingly Seth Rogen playing Seth Rogen with just the right amount of absolute absurdity and charisma. Angelica Huston comes off a bit strong in her performance, but as all mothers would do she immediately wants to jump right in and be there every step of the way. It was a fine portrayal of motherly affection and smothering. It is however the man of the hour Joseph Gordon-Levitt who perfectly balances out the humorous Adam and the emotionally torn apart Adam with simple and brilliant execution. His continuous efforts to downplay his feelings are well performed with a soft smile and darting eyes, but Gordon-Levitt is quietly filling the scenes with his personal acting touch, a charming approach to these very real and very deeply confused characters. First it was his performance as Tom Hansen in 500 Days of Summer and then Arthur in Inception, but Gordon-Levitt seems to have just the right touch of A-list appeal and buddy like personality to sustain these characters.
Not only will 50/50 stand as the best film of the year, but it may just stand as one of the better comedies to be smart and clever about a very touchy subject. It seems as though Seth Rogen summed up this movie just perfectly when he said “Most movies about cancer try and systematically avoid that funny things happen during tragic situations. I don’t think we added humour to something that wasn’t funny, but I think most movies removed humour from something that can be very funny sometimes”. 50/50 is in prime shape come award season, and this complete package of a film may just be the darling of 2012. Heres to the Oscar Campaign for 50/50 because this is a movie worth cheering and celebrating.