Happy hump day! I hope you all are having a great week. I'm still in New York City, returning to Boston on Friday.
This past weekend I was able to watch a movie I'd been wanting to see for months, 50/50. The movie tells the true story of Will Reiser one of Seth Rogen's real life friends who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a young man who takes little risks. He doesn't drive, he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke and he sure as hell doesn't think he is going to be diagnosed with cancer. His life dramatically changes when his doctor informs him he has a malignant tumor growing along his spine.
Though I'd seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt on "Third Rock from the Sun" for years as a kid, I didn't really fall in love with him until I saw "(500) Days of Summer." In this film, he is just as endearing and lovable as he was opposite Zooey Deschanel.
In the opening scene of the film we see Adam with his girlfriend, Rachael, who is played by Bryce Dallas Howard. Rachael is an artist and leans heavily on Adam to pump her up, tell her that her art work is wonderful and remind her of how beautiful she is. Meanwhile, Rachael hasn't touched Adam in nearly three months. Once he is diagnosed, she freaks out. Though she tries to be there for him, she can't. For example, she drives him to chemo, but then refuses to come in for the appointment. She leaves him alone for four hours while she waits in the parking lot. On one occasion, she drove away and forgot to come pick him up. More on her in a minute.
Seth Rogen plays Kyle, Adam's stoner, chick obsessed best friend. I'm not a huge fan of Seth Rogen. He reminds me of all the boys I grew up with in Hebrew school, only he has a much more crass sense of humor. He served his purpose here, but I wasn't amazed.
My favorite scene with Kyle and Adam is when Kyle reveals to Adam that Rachael cheated on him and they take her painting out into the backyard to deface it and torch it. I thought only crazy girls did that sort of thing. Thank you for proving me wrong!
I loved the relationship Adam forms with his two chemo buddies, Alan and Mitch. Adam meets them because they all have chemo appointments at the same time every week. Despite their major age difference, they form a genuine bond. When Alan gives Adam a pot macaroon that his wife made, I cracked up.
There was also tremendous comic relief from Anna Kendrick's character, Katherine, who plays Adam's therapist. Katherine is working on her PhD in psychology and Adam is one of her "study" patients. Surprise, surprise, after a few appointments the two development a mutual crush on one another.
I loved the nervous energy between these two. It had me blushing and nervously fidgeting on my couch. In the scene where Adam wakes up from surgery and Katherine is there, in his drugged up state he says, "I'm going to make you pancakes. You're going to love it." Adorkable!
In the film Anjelica Houston plays Adam's mother. I always think of Houston in regal or evil parts, but as the overly concerned mother she was perfect. In the scene where she hugs and kisses Adam before he goes into surgery my heart was breaking. She was perfectly cast in this role.
I really enjoyed 50/50. I found it to be honest and real. No over the top tear jerker moments, just the truth about what it's really like to go through something like this at 27. The actors were cast brilliantly, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick. I have no idea who was in charge of the music for the film, but every selection hit exactly the right tone for the scene. If you haven't already, add 50/50 to Netflix queue.
What movies have you rented recently? What should I see next?
*Images courtesy of Collider.com, Dukeandthemovies.com, Empiremovies.com, Kolson-kevinsblog.blogspot.com, Moviefanatic.com, Novelwriting101.wordpress.com, Onlinemovieshut.com and Screencrave.com.