22 November, 2011
What's On HK

Sassy Movie Review: 50/50

22 November, 2011
The words ‘cancer’ and ‘comedy’ aren’t often used in conjunction with each other. To be honest, I find it’s actually quite uncomfortable saying them in the same sentence.

So when I heard about 50/50 – a cancer comedy – getting rave reviews, I wasn’t really sure what to think… How could a comedic take on something so dark ever be tasteful? Intrigued (not to mention, dubious), I decided to give it a shot.

Inspired by the real life experience of screenwriter Will Reiser, 50/50 is based around Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a straight laced 27-year-old diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. The film follows how Adam, along with his friends and family, cope with his illness as he embarks on a battle to beat it with 50% survival odds.

On the back of box office hits Inception and 500 Days of Summer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who I have adored ever since 10 Things I Hate About You) really takes things up a notch by nailing the role of Adam.  Anna Kendrick is another standout, doing a stellar job of selling herself as Adam’s inexperienced counselor, Katherine. Admittedly, most of the laughs stem from Seth Rogen’s character Kyle, who milks the fact his best friend has cancer to hit on girls… Rest assured there’s more to him that just that though.

Proving director Jonathan Levine has cracked a winning formula, I noticed the people I was in the cinema with laughed just as much as they seemed to gasp and cry (yes, take tissues).

Although slightly uncomfortable at times, 50/50 is an honest, raw and – to be completely frank – refreshing take on a pretty dark subject. I think not knowing what to expect is the absolute best thing. Go in with an open mind and brace yourself for 100 minutes of emotional highs and lows.

Absolutely worth seeing.

4.5/5 stars from me!

50/50 is out now at AMC Pacific Place, Palace ifc and other selected cinemas in Hong Kong.




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