So I decided that I was going to try to see as many of the Oscar nominated movies I could (at least the ones that are out on DVD) before the show so that, for once, I might have an idea of what the show is about. But then my best laid plan hit a couple of roadblocks:

1. A family thing happened. Doubtful that I’ll get to any of the other movies before the show this Sunday.
2. I realized that 50/50 wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, only a couple of Globes.

Oh well, I already watched it. So we soldier on:


Jonathan Levine

Will Reiser

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Adam
Seth Rogen – Kyle
Anna Kendrick – Katherine
Bryce Dallas Howard – Rachael
Anjelica Huston – Diane
Matt Frewer – Mitch
Philip Baker Hall – Alan



Release Dates:
USA: 30 September 2011
Canada: 30 September 2011
Netherlands: 2 November 2011
Sweden: 10 November 2011
Norway: 11 November 2011
Denmark: 24 November 2011
Ireland: 25 November 2011
UK: 25 November 2011
Estonia: 30 December 2011
Finland: 30 December 2011
Australia: 8 March 2012

2011 Aspen Filmfest (USA) – Audience Award – Favorite Feature

2011 Hollywood Film Festival – Hollywood Breakthrough Award – Actor of the Year: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

2011 National Board of Review (USA) – Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser; Top Ten Independent Films

2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (USA) – Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser (Nominated)

2012 Golden Globes – Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Nominated); Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: Joseph Gordon-Levitt  (Nominated)

2012 Independent Spirit Awards – Best Feature (Nominated); Best First Screenplay: Will Reiser (Nominated); Best Supporting Female: Anjelica Huston (Nominated)

2012 Writers Guild of America (USA) – Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser (Nominated)

Canada: 14A
Ireland: 15A
Netherlands: 12
Sweden: 7
UK: 15
Common Sense Rating: OK for kids 17+ IMDb: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes:
93% (Fresh)

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a 27 year old producer for public radio. He’s young, he’s a nice guy, he’s got a pretty girlfriend, he’s got everything going for him. And he lives in Seattle, God’s Country.

I like Seattle, if it weren’t for all the sparkly vampires it would be the perfect place to live.

So one morning Adam’s bestie Kyle (Seth Rogan) picks him up for work (Adam doesn’t drive, never sure why except that it’s a plot point). Even though they’re running late Kyle still wants to stop for cappuccino. Are you kidding? They’re in Seattle! Isn’t cappuccino part of the plumbing by now? Aren’t there three knobs on your faucet? Hot, cold, and cappuccino? Better get on that, Starbucks.

While they’re waiting, Adam complains about two things: His back hurts and his GF isn’t having sex with him. Kyle is understandably more concerned about his friend’s sex life, but it turns out that the back pain is kind of a problem.

After going through some tests and X-rays, the least empathetic doctor on Earth explains to Adam that he has cancer. A really nasty kind too, with lot’s of syllables. Adam researches it and finds out that treatment has a 50% success rate, hence the title. Adam starts chemotherapy and meets two other patients played by Philip Baker Hall from all the Paul Thomas Anderson movies and old Max Headroom himself, Matt Frewer. He also starts seeing a shrink (Anna Kendrick) who’s not very professional, but she’s so darn cute.

Kyle tries to be supportive in the best way he knows how. His efforts mainly consist of telling Adam how many times Lance Armstrong has had cancer, and encouraging Adam to use his situation as an opportunity to get both of them laid. Turns out that cancer is an effective means of getting girls, especially when you tell them you have medical grade marijuana back at the house. Yeah, because Seth Rogan is in this movie, there’s a lot of pot smoking. I’m pretty sure it’s in his contract.

The movie distinguishes itself from the standard Disease of the Week Lifetime type movie, and it’s not without some good moments, but it just didn’t move me. JGL does a good job as does everybody else, Seth Rogen’s schtick is starting to wear thin, but he can still make me laugh.  Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston are good as Alex’s not too supportive girlfriend and waaay too supportive mother.

The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:

The screenplay is based on real experiences, and parts of the movie do feel authentic, but I guess it didn’t quite all come together for me. The best I can give it is…


Random Quote Whore Quote

50/50 is an apart, sadist, mender of a movie! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is inquisitorial!!!


4 thoughts on “Movie Review – 50/50

  1. Sad how back pain is a problem with sex 😉 I agree Seattle…well all of Pueget Sound is God’s country…I would have trouble with the Vampires and Mosquitos since I like the night 😦
    good revue, I must see it. Am looking forward to Oscars tonite.

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