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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on October 3, 2012
This is an absolutely wonderful movie. The previews portrayed it as being more of a comedy, but I would describe it as more of a drama with comedic moments. The acting is superb. Also, this was based on a true story of one of Seth Rogen's friends (before he was famous).
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What would you do if you were diagnosed with cancer?

Will Reiser's screenplay is based on his own experiences after he was diagnosed. That doesn't sound like a promising subject for a comedy, but 50/50 is definitely funny. It's also quite moving in places and the subject matter sometimes provides genuine drama.

I know that some people will avoid seeing the movie because they either have cancer themselves or know someone with the disease. I understand that choice, but I lost my mother to cancer when I was 12 and I'm glad that I bought the movie. I have friends who deal with serious diseases by joking about it. You would never know that they were ill. Just because 50/50 is a comedy, it doesn't mean that it makes light of cancer.

The main difference between 50/50 and a movie such as The Bucket List is that the main character is in his twenties. We all know that we will die one day, but it seems wrong to have a life-threatening illness at such a young age.

Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) works as a radio show writer. One day while running he experiences back pain. When he gets it checked out, it turns out that he has a large cancerous tumor in his spine. Rachael (Howard), his girlfriend, promises to give him all the support he needs. His best friend, Kyle (Rogen), insists that Adam will be fine. Adam's mother (Houston), who is already dealing with her husband's Alzheimer's, wants to move in with Adam help him through a difficult time.

Adam can scarcely believe what has happened and spends most of his time with Kyle. They regularly get drunk and high and Kyle tries to use Adam's disease as a hook to attract women. He seems to worry more about getting laid than the health of his friend. Rachael does her best at first, but when the reality of Adam's situation takes hold, she isn't as supportive as she expected to be. When crunch time finally comes, it's Kyle who is there for Adam.

We are shown some of the realities faced by people with cancer. Adam befriends other cancer patients at the hospital and they all have an optimistic outlook on life, despite the reality of their disease.

Another major character is Katherine (Kendrick), who plays Adam's therapist. She's 24-years-old and younger than Adam and he's skeptical when she reveals that he is only the third patient she's ever had. I enjoyed Kendrick's performance in Up in the Air and was impressed again here. Her character is much warmer in this movie and Adam likes her as a person despite her flaws.

The acting is good across the board. Gordon-Levitt is very good as Adam, without going over the top. Rogen's character is initially abrasive and somewhat annoying, but he proves to have hidden depths. The friendship felt authentic by the end of the movie. Anjelica Houston doesn't have a large role, but she makes use of every second.

The title refers to Adam's chances of survival when he looks up his disease on the Internet. The chances that you will like the movie are significantly higher.

The Blu-ray presentation is very good and comes with a commentary, deleted scenes, and a feature explaining the story behind the movie.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt who has played very colorful quirky characters, now plays a rather dull Adam, a man who plays by the rules and still gets cancer at an early age because he has bad genes. Seth Rogen is his uncouth best friend who is far more likeable. The non-conformist in me was glad Adam got cancer as opposed to Kyle. The humor is low impact. It wasn't LOL funny. For instance Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is Adam's stress counselor. She is 24 and just a delight, thank you Anna. Adam makes a remark about Doogie Howser. She doesn't know who he is and asks, "Does he work here?" We discover that the more syllables a cancer name has, the worse it is.

His GF Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) becomes less supportive as Adam is not her only interest. Like "Man in the Moon" (for those who like funny movies about cancer) the film gets sadder as it progresses. As a cancer patient you get to make friends with other cancer patients, bond with them, and go to their funeral.

Anjelica Huston did an excellent job as Adam's mother for the short time she was on the screen. The acting was good. The script was up and down. Joseph Gordon-Levitt starts out as the weakest person in the film. It wasn't until he told Rachael to get off his porch does his character pick up and we start to develop respect for him. He is able to take us through a cornucopia of emotions from euphoria to despair. The film starts out as a 3 star comedy, but ends as a 5 star drama.

F-bomb, sex talk, sex, brief shadowy nudity.
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on March 10, 2012
Wonderful! New package and the DVD work... shipping ok! I have nothing bad to say... Good product! This movie made me cry
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on March 3, 2016
which is a great topic. Had thought I try it since Joseph gordon Levitt was in it. It was a good movie, but guess just not in my top favorites. did give it away for someone elses enjoyment
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on April 24, 2013
Very good movie that will touch your heart :) I love movies like this, where its very moving and to have 2 of my fave actors in there was a bonus :) Totally recommend to romance movie lovers.
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on October 7, 2013
Great film, bring humor to an otherwise serious topic. Bought as a gift and it was greatly appreciated. Fast delivery.
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on June 30, 2015
A very touching movie with a dose of comedy. We liked it.
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on March 25, 2016
One of my favorite films, had to own it.
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on February 16, 2015
One of my favorite movie!
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