Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is 27 years old, has a loving girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), works as a writer for a local radio station and is a genuine nice guy. Life is good, until he learns that he has a rare case of spinal cancer, leaving him with a 50% chance to survive it. With the help of his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen), his overprotective mother (Anjelica Huston) and the young postgraduate therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick), he tries to tackle chemotherapy. Everyone has their own way to handle Adam and his disease, but is there really a way to help him as the cancer starts to take its tolls?
This movie is inspired by a true story, the story of the writer Will Reiser, and Seth Rogen was really his friend in those hard times in real life. Now, combining drama and comedy is something difficult to do, but the director Jonathan Levine and writer Will Reiser manage to keep it at a good balance, at 50/50 if you like, without melodramatising it or turning it into a laughing stock. The story may pick up slow, but gets really good, revealing the difficulties Adam has to face and the friendship he receives. What I also like about the movie is the lack of romance. Sure, there is this thing going on, but it’s really subtle and the movie would be about the same without it. They are not ruining the touching plot with a cheesy love story. On the story downside, there are a few things that seem neglected, like Adam’s job or his old greyhound Skeletor. They are not important for the story, but the way they are introduced and sometimes mentioned, you get the feeling that there should be more to it. Levitt’s acting is really good and you can feel all the different moods and stages his character goes through. And I’m really surprised, that Rogen cannot only play the funny parts, but the serious ones as well. It’s also mainly thanks to his contribution, that the movie avoids drifting into a depressing one and can keep its drama/comedy balance. The characters are likeable and generally played well. Overall quite a good movie to recommend. So, unless you prefer mindless action flicks or stupid comedies, go see this one, I enjoyed it.
Deutscher Titel: 50/50 – Freunde fürs (Über)Leben
Links: IMDB: 50/50, IMDB: This Review