Movie Review – 50/50

I just saw 50/50.  I don’t think I’ve seen a cancer-meets-youth movie since 1991’s Dying Young (Campbell Scott, Julia Roberts).  This one’s a little different as it’s based largely on truth.  The movie centers on a character named Adam Schwartz who, at age 27, learns he has a rare and serious form of cancer.  Schwartz (not coincidentally) represents the screenplay’s author, Will Reiser.  As is often the case with these films, Reiser even plays a small role in the movie as a character named Greg (who I, unfortunately, have no memory of now that I’m home again and IMDB-ing the movie).

Oh, and don’t worry here.  I will NOT give away the storyline. Uncool.

One of the first things I noticed about the movie was the unconventional motley crew of actors involved in it. (I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.)

– Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Adam) – I knew I recognized him.  He’s the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun, all grown up. Nicely acted.  And he bears a striking resemblance to Reiser.

– Seth Rogen (Kyle) – He’s actually playing himself … and not.  He’s a real-life friend of Reiser’s and was his support system throughout the cancer battle.  I guess they figured that ‘Seth Rogen’ as a character would be too distracting so they just made him Adam’s radio work buddy.  Of course, he essentially plays himself anyway … bringing profanity to life in an oddly acceptable, your-grandmother-could-be-in-the-room kind of way.  He really often plays the same character which I don’t always enjoy but I did in this one.  Everyone has a Seth Rogen-type in their lives.  And sometimes we really need him.

– Anna Kendrick (Katherine) – She’s the cute little actress who plays Jessica, Bella’s only non-bloodsucking friend in the Twilight films. If you’re higher brow than me, you’ve likely seen her in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World or Up in the Air.

– Bryce Dallas Howard (Rachael) – Opie’s kid (though I’m really more from the Richie Cunningham generation).  Didn’t I just see her play the same selfish, unlikeable bitch in The Help?  She’s an attractive young woman with amazing eyes, a killer pedigree and some pretty decent acting chops.  Seriously, her agent needs to get on that right away before she’s totally typecast as the contemptible villainess.

– Anjelica Huston (Diane, Adam’s mom) – I don’t really need to elaborate here, do I?

– Matt Frewer (Mitch) – Max Headroom.  Anyone? Yeah, I know.  My nerd is showing.

– Philip Baker Hall (Alan) – I’m sorry but he’ll always be the surly library cop from Seinfeld to me.  (That show will remain a frame of reference for me for a very long time.)  And I also see that he guest starred in an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun. Well, now it’s making a little more sense.

The movie definitely held my attention.  Which is why I found myself very pissed off at the Coca-Cola Company and, even more so, at the minimum wage-earning teenager who talked me into a larger Diet Coke than I had any business buying.  Twice … and that was with major restraint … I had to bolt (and I mean literally run the length of the place) to the bathroom and then bug my friend upon returning about what I missed while I was out.  Not a plot from which you want to step away, you know?

There were some pretty funny parts involving pot smoking and manscaping as well as some more sobering ones that I won’t divulge here.   The movie prompted me to think about a few things from other perspectives and, I will confess, that I had a little emotional moment or two as the story unfolded.

And, as always, I ran a little late getting there to meet my friend today.  I had a bit of a crap-lodged-in-eye emergency.  As a result, I skipped the mascara which … as it turns out … was probably a good thing.

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3 responses to “Movie Review – 50/50

  1. ODNT Addendum … My friend, Ashley, just texted to remind me that Bryce Dallas Howard also played the role of Victoria, the MOTHER of all bitch babies, in the Twilight series. (How could I forget that one?) Bryce, dear, you may well be screwed at this point and should probably start seeking the Nurse Rached-y roles in remakes of Mommie Dearest, Monster, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Basic Instinct.

  2. You need to get the app “Run Pee” on your smart phone…it tells you the best time to go to the bathroom during movies so you miss the least. The only time it doesn’t work is when you see movies on opening day since it takes them 24 hours to post movies to the app.

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