50/50

For my 50th post on Diddy’s Diary I thought I might do something a little different.

I love writing about books but I also love watching films too and quite often I’m a lot more picky about choosing a film than I am a novel. I nearly always search for some reviews before watching a film so I thought I’d have a go writing one!

I watched this film a while ago but it stuck in my mind and, as it’s so aptly named for the occasion, here goes!

50/50 is about a twenty-seven year old guy, Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who gets cancer. I know it doesn’t sound all that cheery but it is actually a sensitive comedy and a great film. Unsurprisingly his diagnosis comes as quite a shock, not just for him but for his best friend, his mother, and his girlfriend, and the film follows his journey through the treatment. One of my favourite lines in the film is during his diagnosis appointment with his doctor when he first receives the bad news. On hearing about his cancer he responds, “but I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I recycle”, a line that I think clearly echoes the disbelief that many people might feel after a cancer diagnosis.

There are several great relationships in the film. Firstly Adam’s best friend, played by Seth Rogan, provides a lot of comic relief. But that isn’t his sole role in the film. He shows the importance of friendship and his attempts to help Adam are truly touching as well as hilarious.

Another relationship which provides a lot of humour is that with Adam’s girlfriend. He has only recently started seeing her and the film demonstrates the struggle that they both face in discovering something like this so early on in the relationship. She most definitely does not handle it well, but her feeling that she can’t abandon him is on that I imagine would be difficult to escape – he gives her an out but it’s quite a difficult thing to admit that that’s what you want!

Adam is incredulous at the therapist that he is assigned (played by the awesome Anna Kendrick), a young doctor who admits that Adam is only her third patient, however their relationship blossoms and he finds that she helps in a way that he could not have imagined.

I also really liked the portrayal of the friends that Adam makes during his treatment. There is light-hearted mockery and silliness, not taking themselves too seriously while still acknowledging that having cancer has potentially fatal consequences. Their friendships are full of humility and laughter and they are all good characters.

My family will tell you that I am a cryer so it doesn’t take much to start the tears flowing with me but there were some very emotive moments as well as some really good comedy. The story is well executed, and while perhaps just a tad predictable at times, it’s not so much that it isn’t worth watching. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent in this role, which I felt was quite similar to his character in 500 Days of Summer, yet this one is a lot more thoughtful and interesting to watch.

I would 100% recommend this film. I imagine that 50/50 is often classified as a feel-good film, although I think for me there were a few too many emotional moments to fill you with that warm, fuzzy feeling you expect from a true feel-good film. Having said that, it is definitely an above-average comedy and there are some truly uplifting moments.

A solid 9/10

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