Walking the line between comedy and tragedy is tricky. How can filmmakers draw out the appropriate emotions from their audiences? When do those triggers inspire us to laugh or cry? Or, for that matter, do both?
50/50 strikes a delicate balance between the two, straddling and steadying itself with a brand of empathetic humor that does something rarely seen in sardonic film: It encourages.
Loosely based on screenwriter Will Reiser's own cancer struggles as a 20-something, 50/50follows Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a Seattle public radio producer after he's diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his spine. And there's a lot to follow.
There are plenty of reasons to see 50/50. The character actors on display -- including Anjelica Huston and the always-excellent Philip Baker Hall -- shine through a movie that's a tad star-heavy. Gordon-Levitt and Kendrick share an incredibly unethical, but nonetheless charming repartee of sweet flirtation. Rogen does his cursing, weed-smoking best. Still, if you need a single reason to see 50/50, let it be this: It's an honestly funny take about how people react to cancer.
Read the full review here.