Admittedly I was very much looking forward to seeing this film, having read previews in previous issues of Empire and Total Film. Unfortunately at its time of release on the big screen, it was only on at limited times and selected cinemas, so I had to wait a little longer.
Luckily I was not disappointed, with 50/50 being one of the most uplifting films of 2011, with some superb performances throughout.
It tells the story of Adam Lerner, your average 27 year old whose life is turned upside down when he is told he has a rare form of spinal cancer. Now you expect the film to get dark and sad, but although there are sad parts, in the main this is one man’s journey at facing cancer head-on and still trying to live a normal life.
His case is not helped by cheating girlfriend, who begins to get itchy feet once his diagnosis comes in. He also has to deal with Scott (Seth Rogan) his loud, brash best friend who tries to use cancer is a pulling mechanism.
The surprise performance comes from Adam’s overprotective mother played wonderfully by Anjelica Huston, who is quirky as well as totally convincing as the grief stricken parent, this coupled with the fact her husband suffers with Alzheimers disease surely meant her world had come crashing down in the worst possible way.
The scene where Adam has to tell his mother, really does pull at the heartstrings and she struggles to comprehend the situation.
Given that the film is based on Writer Will Reiser’s real-life story makes it even more compelling, but the fact it is a fresh look at what can be considered a very depressing sub-genre is a testament to the story as well as the cast.
The impact may have been slightly watered down in the wake of The Big C’s success, but 50/50 is without doubt the finest movie you will see on the subject in a long time.