TCFF Day 2: 50/50 Mini Review

Directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Running Time 99 Minutes, Rated R.

From the moment I saw this on the TCFF schedule, I knew I had to see it. I really think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is truly one of the brightest young actors working today, hence my inclusion in this list. I think he’s grown so much as an actor and certainly has come a loooong way since NBC’s Third Rock from the Sun! Anna Kendrick was supposed to hold a Q & A after the film, but unfortunately she had a filming commitment so she had to bail 😦

I was uncertain at first just how could they make cancer funny, but the beauty is in the writing and the way writer Will Reiser and director Jonathan Levine crafted this character-driven dramedy. Levitt is such a natural actor, there’s an effortless-ness to his acting which is wonderful to see. But the supporting cast are great as well, besides Anna Kendrick as Levitt’s young therapist, I also got a kick out of Anjelica Huston’s performance as the overbearing yet endearing mother of Levitt’s character. I can’t deny there are too much crude language for my liking, but at least for the most part it wasn’t in a mean-spirited kind of manner. The theme of friendship between Seth Rogen and Levitt’s characters is what drives the story, and there is a genuine chemistry between the two that was wonderful and heartwarming to watch (yes, despite a lot of Rogen’s questionable behaviors).

I’m going to borrow an excerpt from my friend and fellow MN movie blogger Mitch Hansch from MoviesWithMitch.com whom I had the pleasure of hanging out with before the film started.

Reiser’s 50/50 goes about 70/30 with the comedy to drama ratio.  Going back to the humor-well as often as it does the jokes can come off more defense mechanism than healing process, but ultimately, the dialogue is so funny and so well delivered by it’s talented cast that all is overlooked.

Director Jonathan Levine effectively reels us back in by keeping focus that Adam is feeling all the effects of life threatening cancer.  When Adam is not getting chemotherapy treatment along with a couple of older men that are wonderfully played by Matt Fewer and the great Phillip Baker Hall, he gets counseled by a 24 year-old Dr. Katherine McKay (Anna Kendrick).  Flirtations between the two blur the doctor/patient relationship.

50/50 is a hilarious look at heartbreak that has the performances to back it up.  The odds of you liking this film are a lot higher than it’s title.

MITCHNIFFICANT- a must see in the theatre


Has anybody seen this film? I’d love to hear what you think.