Cancer-comedy ‘50/50’ beats odds

50/50 is distributed by Summit Entertainment and was released in theaters Sept. 30. (Photo from

Mark Schierbecker
Staff Writer

Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) is an underappreciated public radio producer. He’s quirky and slightly neurotic, but that’s okay. At 27, Adam doesn’t seem to be a likely candidate for a terminal disease. Adam catches a bad break and learns he has developed a rare form of cancer. Taken aback by the news, he protests to his doctor this is impossible: he recycles. Adam is told that with chemotherapy he has a 50/50 chance at survival.

Adam is accompanied by his over-endearing mother (Angelica Houston), his inexperienced psychiatrist, Dr. Katie McKay (Anna Kendrick) and his laid-back friend, Kyle (Rogen). The movie follows Adam’s journey as he deals with his deteriorating physical (and mental) condition. Adam works his way through the stages of grieve: shock, denial, resistance and, finally, acceptance.

This film maintains a humorous theme while dealing with a morose topic. It deals with dying in a mature way not seen in many movies.

The film’s greatest qualities are its killer dialogue and stellar cast. Rogan adds to the terrific, Oscar-worthy cast with comic relief and hilarity in typical Rogan-fashion. While cancer may not strike some as a great comedy, Levine expertly provides the best mix of tragedy and comedy.

Categories: Entertainment

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