Based on the true story of and written by Will Reiser, 50/50 is about a 29 year old guy named Adam who goes to the doctor because of back pain and finds out that he has a tumor and must undergo chemotherapy. It is about the way the he deals with his cancer and how the people around him react to his cancer. His best friend uses it to try and get girls, his girlfriend cannot deal with the pressure of being a caregiver and cheats on him, and his mother wants to move in with him.
I enjoyed the movie, but it was not as funny as I was expecting it to be. There were funny lines throughout the whole movie, but it was actually quite depressing at times. I would characterize is more as amusing than funny. However, it was well written and a very moving story.
I am not sure that anyone besides Joseph Gordon-Levitt could have pulled off the dark humor as well. Similar to his character in (500) Days of Summer, he is good at making light of typically sad situations, but can also transition very easily into more serious scenes.
In addition to Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Angelica Huston are all excellent in their respective roles. Howard plays the girlfriend, Kenrick the young therapist that Adam goes to see and Houston is Adam's mother. Seth Rogen played Adam's best friend and, in general, I just find him to be incredibly annoying as an actor. It is something about his voice and his laugh that just really irritate me. Luckily, I was able to enjoy the movie despite him.
My only real issue with the movie was the dad with alzheimer's. I am not sure if it is one of the acurate parts of Reiser's real life story, but it just felt really out of place. The dad mostly just sat there looking goofy and I feel like it took away from the film. I just think there probably was a better way to address the situation that could have made the role not seem so forced.
Although I expected this movie to be much funnier, I also did not cry as much as I though I might. It turns out it was a touching film that explores how humor can help anyone through any experience. To use a line used in the movie, you cannot control every situation, but you can control how you react to that situation. Some people fall apart and others do it with grace, humility and a little bit of humor.