50/50 ***1/2

50/50

“50/50” is a real tear jerker. It is a funny and insightful comedy about a guy who finds out that he has a very rare form of cancer.

Adam, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, is a pretty regular guy who works for NPR editing radio programming. He sees the doctor after experiencing back pain. He is told by the doctor that he has cancer and his survival rate is like 50%. Pretty bleak. Soon he is getting regular chemo therapy sessions.

His life is filled with support from his best friend play by Seth Rogan, his overbearing mother played by the great Angelica Huston, and counselor played by Anna Kendrick.

His girlfriend, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is the weakest link. Right off the bat we can tell that she isn’t too into the relationship as it is. Now she is faced with supporting Adam through a painful battle. Her heart is not in it at all.

The funniest moments in this movie are coincidentally the most honest. Rogan attempts to cheer Adam up by getting him laid. His plan of attack is to put the cancer out there and hope for sympathy sex. The results are mixed.

I also loved Huston as his mother, who upon learning of Adams illness, announces that she is moving into his home immediately. “I smothered him because I love him”, she confidently states to Adams counselor. Huston deserves year end award recognition for her work here.

As Adam, Joseph Gordon Levit gives another great performance. He is such a great leading man. He can easily switch from a sci-fi role in “Inception” to a comedy like “50/50”.

My only issue with the film is the counselor played by Anna Kendrick.  She is a sweet person but awful at her job.  She crosses all kinds of boundaries, including dating a patient.  She needs to find a different profession. 

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