July 31, 2016
Review #825: 50/50.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Adam Lerner), Seth Rogen (Kyle Hirons), Anna Kendrick (Katherine McKay), Bryce Dallas Howard (Rachael), Anjelica Huston (Diane Lerner), Serge Houde (Richard Lerner), Andrew Airlie (Dr. Ross), Matt Frewer (Mitch Barnett), and Philip Baker Hall (Alan Lombardo) Directed by Jonathan Levine.
It's not so much that the movie has a good balance of comedy and drama, it's that it handles its subject matter with enough sensibility to be more than one might expect. The writing (by Will Reiser, who had also had cancer, with his experience being the basis for the screenplay) is what helps the film gain ground almost immediately, with the actors having good chemistry with each other. Gordon-Levitt is excellent, showing a range of emotions without an ounce of insincerity, and he is a likable (if not perfect, but understandable) lead. The scenes with him and Rogen are handled pretty well, having some laughs (including the shaving scene), but also some fine scenes of drama, especially near the end. Kendrick is enjoyable to watch (while one could question her decisions as a therapist, the suspension of disbelief is enough to alleviate for this film), having a quirky charm that works nicely (I also know someone who has a bit of stuff on the car floor whenever I hitch a ride with them, though some of that is school stuff). While her and Gordon-Levitt have some decent scenes together, the movie thankfully doesn't try to refocus as a love story near the end, keeping itself focused but also keeping true to these characters, without coming off as strange as something like The Bucket List (#640) was. There's a decent supporting cast, with my favorites being Frewer and Baker Hall, who (while not in the movie for long) provide some dry elements that fit well with the film. Before I repeat myself over and over again, I'll just say that it's a nice movie that keeps itself balanced, with an excellent cast being the forefront alongside a well handled plot.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.