Laughter is the best medicine.
Such is one of the central themes in 50/50. It's based off of screen writer Will Reiser's bout with cancer, which he ultimately beat.
Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a healthy 27 year old who works for a radio station. Nagging back pain brings him to the doctor's office and he is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. His option is chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, than a risky surgery to rid himself of it. Adam's support system is his best friend Nick, (Seth Rogan) who cares deeply for his friend, but is not above using his condition as a ploy to get girls in bed. Adam's over bearing mother (Anjelica Huston) and unfaithful girl friend (Bryce Dallas Howard) prove to be obsticals, but he finds solace with his therapist in training, Katherine. (Anna Kendrick) Adam doesn't go to extremes to do things before he dies. He doesn't have some spiritual awakening, he just deals. Just as Will Reiser did.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really the heart and soul of the film. He perfectly balances the script's witty humor and it's harder moments. Seth Rogen was a great addition as well. With his traditional one liners, he brings light to Adam's situation. Just when you think that maybe Nick might just be an asshole, Adam finds a cancer coping book that Nick has been reading. Proof that he's having a hard time dealing as well. Anna Kendrick brings the same charm she did in Up in the Air, but it feels like she's playing the same character. This job could've easily been the one Natalie Keener left Omaha for in that film. She's good with this type of gig, but it's nothing new for her.
50/50, though not as good as it's working title I'm With Cancer in my opinion isn't just another depressing movie about the disease. It's shows that not everyone goes into bucket list mode as soon as they are diagnosed. Yes they are angry and scared, but they just carry on an prove that sometimes a laugh (and perhaps some medicinal marijuana) is really what you need to ease the tension.
Memorable Quote: "No one's gonna fuck me, I look like Voldemort." - Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)