50/50 Plays Odds, Beats House

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Paul McCartney

I have to admit, I went into 50/50 expecting something completely different.  Surge, his cousin, and I were initially going to see Tucker and Dale Versus Evil, but it was not playing at the AMC at The Block.  Consequently (and collectively) we opted for the new Seth Rogen/Joseph Gordon-Levitt piece.  I was expecting Pineapple Express, what I got was a heartwarming tearjerker about friendship. love, and finding humor in the bleakest of days.

Not to give too much away, Gordon-Levitt takes on the role of Adam, a milquetoast twenty-something who finds out he has a rare type of cancer and learns lessons of life, love, and friendship that he probably should have learned as a teenager.  Rogen co-stars as the best friend, Kyle, who–despite his callous exterior–becomes the emotional rock as Adam’s life begins to fall apart around him.

The film feels like a typical coming-of-age movie played ten years too late, but, looking at a large portion of my generation, it seems timely–we’re “growing up” later and taking on adult lives and responsibilities before we even finish learning about ourselves.  This ultimately powerful film can serve as a reminder that some of us blossom later and, despite the world falling apart around us, we can overcome adversity by swallowing a little pride, laughing a little in the face of death, and being grateful for the ones we love and the ones who really love us.

Bottom line:  See it once–with friends–then call your mom.

Bonus:  Max Headroom (Matt Frewer) as mentor and fellow chemo patient Mitch.