Sunday 29 April 2012

50/50 (2012) - Jonathan Levine

Although it's listed as a comedy, there's a serious drama under the hood of 50/50.  The film's success stems from its true story inspiration, based upon writer Will Reiser's own experiences.  Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his family and best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) must learn to deal with his illness and the 50-50 odds of his survival.  With cancer being such an issue in this day and age, the narrative trajectory feels potently real.

Director Levine has struck a commendable balance between humour and pensive honesty, sweetness and sadness.  The humour mostly derives from Rogen and, although Kyle is a character we've seen him play countless times before, he is the perfect foil to Adam.  The film and script certainly has a quirky feel, similar to 500 Days of Summer, which may seem like style over substance, but there's real heart here.  It's a very human story, with likeable characters we genuinely care about.  Gordon-Levitt's performance depicts an empathetic character, proving his worth as a truly talented actor.  Equally, Anna Kendrick's cutesy style is well suited to the role of Katherine, Adam's therapist.

50/50 is an incredibly moving experience.  Its light-hearted comedy mixes with moments of sadness for a heart-warming tale that even the most hardened of audiences will struggle not to find upsetting.