50/50 Review: “May I Present… Exhibit Whore”

First things first – fuck cancer. It’s a disease we are nowhere near where we need to be in regards of a cure. And it’s devastating and infuriating. And it makes you wonder what has modern medicine been up to in the past, say, 60 years? (It sure as hell hasn’t cured Alzheimer’s or Aids)

Above: Reiser and Rogen. Below: Rogen and Reiser's screen counterpart Joseph Gordon-Levitt

With that out of the way, I can get to assessing 50/50 as a movie, and please don’t call it “that cancer comedy” cause that only means you didn’t truly watch it and like our entire Facebookish existence nowadays, you’re trying to sum every experience in 140 characters or less. Yes, Adam, the film’s protagonist gets cancer. It’s a pivotal moment. But it’s not a defining one.

Based on Will Reisner and Seth Rogen’s friendship whilst the former deals with having his life expectancy reduced dramatically, the film portrays Adam’s surroundings (best friend, girlfriend, therapist and mother) trying their hardest to help him cope, and at the meantime, not having an inkling as to how to do it. The movie effortlessly shifts from the hilarious to the maudlin using smart and realistic dialogue. So much so that you can still hear some of the audience’s giggles being stifled by lumps in their throats. Not to say the movie is depressing, quite the opposite, but in that non-Hollywood forced way.

The cast is stellar, especially Anjelica Houston as the smothering-because-she-loves-him mother. Making you want to treat your own mother with more love and respect, or at least call her back every once in a while. Rogen has playing Rogen down to an art (and it would be awfully weird if he didn‎’t) uttering curses and wisecracks, but also delivering a strong performance emotion-wise.

50/50 proves that sometimes life’s shitty detours can turn into fantastic movies. Go see it. Even if it means sitting through 22 minutes of commercials and a Twilight trailer. In the end, you’ll somehow feel cheered up.

And I can’t stress this enough – fuck cancer.

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