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50/50 2011

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen team up to beat the odds in a film that Rolling Stone calls "achingly hilarious and heartfelt." Diagnosed with spinal cancer, 27 year old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) navigates the road to recovery with the sometimes overbearing support of his crude best friend (Rogen), his smothering mother (Angelica Huston) and an inexperienced therapist (Anna Kendrick). Inspired by a true story of writer Will Reiser, 50/50 is an honest yet hysterically funny account of a young man's journey toward healing.

Starring:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Jonathan Levine
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen
Supporting actors Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston, Serge Houde, Andrew Airlie, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall, Donna Yamamoto, Sugar Lyn Beard, Yee Jee Tso, Sarah Smyth, Peter Kelamis, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Daniel Bacon, P. Lynn Johnson, Laura Bertram, Matty Finochio, Luisa D'Oliveira
Studio Summit Entertainment
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2011
Format: DVD
I can tell that this was inspired by the true story of screenwriter Will Reiser. He has got every detail down so perfectly that it would either be that or that the man was sharing an esp channel with cancer patients. His protagonist is diagnosed with spinal cancer. This is 27 year old Adam, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He discovers his is a rare form of spinal cancer with 50-50 odds of surviving it. It has not yet metastasized so they will try to shrink it with chemo first and then operate.

Seth Rogen plays his crude, loud, yet amazingly supportive best friend. Touchingly he even sneak reads on the side a book about going through cancer with someone. He provides the perfect foil for Adam.

Adam makes and loses relationships along the treatment way, which is also very normal. Some people are just better at coping with grave illness than others' are and if one has never had to move beyond a certain level of commitment to people, it can be neigh unto impossible to cope with it.

One of the best turns of the whole film is the role of his smothering but loving mother. I kept saying to myself, why does the actress playing the Jewish mother so brilliantly look so familiar? I then almost fell off the sofa as I realized that it was Angelica Huston (who was raised by her loud, boisterous Irish father so is not a Jewish mother at all in real life). Huston, however, not too long ago lost her long time spouse under similar catastrophic illness circumstances so I can see why she was a natural for the role.

Adam even manages to connect with one of his medical workers played by Anna Kendrick. She brings a lot of humor to the role as he is but her third patient. She is interning as a therapist on the way to her PhD in psychology.
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By Meg on February 12, 2012
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
As someone who has had and survived cancer in there 20's....was dumped when diagnosed....and found out who really is and will always be there for me and love me, this movie truly hit home. Yes it's a comedy, but I also wept like a baby. This movie is well made, great acting, and brings you through a real roller coaster of emotions. I loved this movie....loved.
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Format: Amazon Video
Striking the right balance and tone has got to be an incredibly difficult thing to do when you are centering a comedic picture around a serious topic such as cancer. I suppose that's why we see so few cancer comedies--it just isn't a particularly amusing topic. On TV, Showtime has a Laura Linney helmed program called "The Big C" which addresses cancer as its principle theme. That program, however, (despite being beloved by many, so send me your hate mail) has the deck stacked with wacky caricatures and unbelievable situations that make it almost unbearably over-the-top. Maybe that's why "50/50" was an incredible surprise! It's easy to see why its perfectly measured screenplay has won numerous year-end accolades because the story deftly juggles the hilarious with the heartfelt. This is comedy that comes from a very real place with exceedingly believable characters, and yet--it is also surprisingly hard-edged and never devolves into sentimental treacle. In a word, the film's tone is perfect. With its smart screenplay and a wondrous lead performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50" is easily one of my favorite films of 2011.

Gordon-Levitt plays a relatively uptight professional whose life is upended when he is diagnosed with a particularly nasty strain of cancer in his back. Reeling from the news, he tries to carry on as normal as possible. But outside influences and those who care about him soon start breaking down some of the carefully erected barriers he's hid behind his whole life. Seth Rogan as his obnoxious best friend, Anjelica Huston as his somewhat estranged mother, Anna Kendrick as his hospital therapist, Bryce Dallas Howard as his girlfriend, and Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer as his chemotherapy partners round out one of the most effective ensembles of the year.
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50/50 is one of the most genuine films I've ever seen. It is doubtful that it will win any prestigious awards, although the acting, writing and directing are all excellent. It does not actively strive to be deeply profound, riotously funny or endearing. 50/50 simply is all of these things because it is human. It oscillates between being hilarious and sad, all without pandering to the audience or using cliches.

That it is entertaining goes without saying. But what makes the film really worth watching is how authentically it captures the nuances of life -- its inherent shortness, inequity, frustration, exhilaration and, above all, the universal duality associated with an uncertain existence. And 50/50 isn't corny, overwrought, overtly philosophical or melodramatic. There's no shortage of wonderful movies with great actors, twisting plots and exquisite special effects. 50/50, however, transcends being an enjoyable, temporary distraction. It's real, and invites the viewer to reflect on their own path, which is a very rare breed of film indeed.

Watch it, buy it, borrow it from a friend. The chances are damn near 100% that you'll enjoy the hell out of it.
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