Movie Review: 50/50

Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in 50/50

In the artistic community, mediocrity is often disparaged. However, sometimes a mediocre film can be touching, funny, and loveable without ever transcending into greatness. 50/50,  a new “dramedy” directed by Jonathan Levine, is one such film. The film boasts an excellent young cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick. Gordon-Levitt and Rogen shine as Adam and Kyle, a pair of best friends who work together at a radio station. When Adam (Gordon-Levitt) finds out that he has a cancerous tumor growing in his back, the two struggle to find ways to stay optimistic in a seemingly hopeless situation. Levine manages to breathe new life into the “cancer-movie” trope by balancing tender emotion with a sharp wit. Rogen’s trademark “everyman” appeal works nicely here, although he may soon find himself typecast in the “friendly stoner” role he’s played so many times before. Gordon-Levitt, on the other hand, has done an excellent job of taking on a range of distinctly unique characters thus far in his young career. 50/50 is probably the best showcase of Gordon-Levitt’s talents so far, supporting the growing consensus that he’s one of the best young talents in Hollywood. Anna Kendrick, as Adam’s inexperienced new therapist, delivers a solid performance as well. The tension between the two is palpable, standing in stark contrast to the instant chemistry between Gordon-Levitt and Rogen.

Overall, the film succeeds in capturing the desperation and heartbreak that cancer can bring while avoiding the sappy pitfalls that could have dragged it down. After leaving the theater I was not compelled to rave to my family and friends, but sometimes a mediocre movie that leaves you feeling content is enough. 50/50 is well worth your time, but I’d be shocked to see it garnering many awards in the future.

–Ben Klein, Editor in Chief

Posted by on October 20, 2011. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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