Friday, January 27, 2012

50/50

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

50/50 - 4 out of 5

Based on the real life experiences of Will Reiser, 50/50 is about a young man diagnosed with cancer that leaves him a 50/50 shot of surviving (that's how they got the title!).  The immensely talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as the health-failing Adam.  Seeking help and support from his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), he is awarded only with her infidelity but he finds the support he needs from his best friend (Seth Rogen), a young therapist (Anna Kendrick) and an over-bearing, worrywart of a mother (Anjelica Huston).

Two dudes shaving a head...I think this is the male drama equivalent of a romantic comedy
"hat trying-on" scene.

I'll be honest, I'm a Matt Fewer fan.
Critics have called the movie "absolutely hilarious" and "laugh out loud funny" but I didn't see this in the film.  While I really enjoyed the movie and found it to be a great drama with Gordon-Levitt giving an Oscar-worthy performance, I didn't really find it that funny.  But I think it has to do with the fact that the majority of the comic relief comes from Seth Rogen and, even on a good day, he doesn't really make me laugh very much because he plays the same character in every film he is in.  Granted, he is actually playing a fictionalized version of himself in this film and it was he who convinced Reiser to write the screenplay about his real-life events but the whole foul-mouth, pot smokin', annoying laugh pervert but somehow loveable character Seth plays all the time got old by his third movie.  The formula I've found that works for me, personally, with Rogen is:  Less is more.  Whenever he plays a small role in the form of a sidekick or cameo, he always delivers a memorable performance but when he dominates a movie, he seems to take more away than add to the project.

Wow, The View is just getting worse.

Other than the fact that I didn't find the film as funny as others say it is, the one thing I would have like to see expanded on was Adam's relationship with two other cancer patients he meets while undergoing chemotherapy.  Max Headroom (Matt Fewer) and Philip Baker Hall, play Mitch and Alan, and help Adam through the anxiety of the cancer treatments and introduces him the medicinal effects of marijuana.  I really enjoyed these two characters and would have like to see more screen time for them but despite the limit amount of screen time, they still delivered healthy performances that helped the film keep going.


Both are trying to deny smelling it because they don't wish to be the one who dealt it.



In the end, 50/50 isn't the comedy I was expecting going into the film but, instead, found a spectacular drama that, with the exception of Rogen, had a terrific cast giving their all to their roles.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proven he's come a long way from 3rd Rock from the Sun and should DEFINITELY feels robbed by not getting a nod from this year's Academy Awards.  In fact, the film was so great with its story, heart and emotion, the entire cast and crew should be upset they weren't acknowledged by the Oscars.  Especially the Best Boy...you were robbed most of all.

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