After being diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, twenty something Adam attempts to keep his cool while maintaining relationships with his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen, KNOCKED UP), co-workers and family. With a 50 percent chance of recovery Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, INCEPTION, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER) goes through treatment and seeks the aid of a therapist (Ana Kendrick) to help him cope.
In what felt like a film that was marketed as a friendship flick or a bromantic comedy, I was surprised when the film only touched on moments of Adam and Kyle’s friendship and where it was more focused on Adam’s struggle with the disease. When onscreen together, the chemistry between Gordon-Levitt and Rogen was perfect and believable. Kyle’s “I’m going to throw up” reaction to the news of Adam’s cancer to capitalizing on the patient’s bald head to score chicks made me laugh. I cried when the duo hugged in the car in front of the hospital and thought of every wonderful friend I have been blessed with and the power of a hug like that.
Having been through this once before off-screen with his real life best friend and the film’s screenwriter, Will Reiser, I would have thought that there would have been a bit more emotion or ache within Rogen’s character. Instead he plays the same person we have witnessed in his previous films. Nothing special came from his performance (aside from the aforementioned chemistry – maybe he is just good at being a ‘friend’?).
Even though she does a stellar job as the ‘villain’ (as witnessed not only in this film but in THE HELP and TWILIGHT), I would like to see Bryce Dallas Howard play another type of character. However, she got the job done in this film and plays Adam’s frosty girlfriend flawlessly. As the inexperienced and naïve therapist Katherine, Kendrick does a tremendous job. Doing her best to establish a trusting relationship with her third client ever, Kendrick manages to make her overeager, can-do attitude work with this character. In the hands of a less talented actor this role could have flopped or could have been distracting. Praise must be given to Mr. Gordon-Levitt who time after time wow’s me with another great movie selection and performance. The wide range of emotions he produces in this film is beyond impressive. I am excited to see what is next from Gordon-Levitt (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES).
With picture perfect background scenery and a really great soundtrack, the backdrop of this film is its own character and does a great job breathing life into the film. One thing I was happy about when watching this film was that it inspired and gave the viewer hope and encouragement but not in an over the top cheesy way. Though there are a few risqué moments and there is some language, this is a movie I would sit down and watch with my family. 50/50 is a heartfelt emotional ride that I recommend highly to any and all.
Video (1.78:1): Nice clean picture.
Audio (5.1 DTS HD Master Audio): Great audio for the awesome soundtrack.
Audio Commentary: Seth Rogen, Will “Raisin” Reiser, Ben Karlin, Evan Goldberg and director Jonathan Levine are active participants in this enjoyable commentary. I enjoyed the side stories and all the laughter shared among the friends as they discuss the film.
Deleted Scenes (6:17): Six deleted scenes with a play all button. Even though they were enjoyable moments they were wisely cut from the film.
The Story of 50/50 (7:54): I wish this could have been a bit longer as it was interesting to hear from the cast and crew with their real life encounters with cancer, the background and inspiration for the story and other miscellaneous behind the scenes moments.
Life Inspires Art (9:15): Four scenes that are dissected and looked at from the real life perspective then the scene. Very entertaining.
Seek and Destroy (2:21): A behind the scenes look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen destroying the painting with eggs, knives, and fire. Sort of boring when compared to the other features.