’50/50′ Review: A Perfect Blend of Comedy and Drama Leads to an Eventual Classic
Most comedies can make you laugh for some of the time. Most dramas can make you cry for a few minutes. Not 50/50. You are either laughing or crying, sometimes both, but never just sitting there letting something build to a laugh or a cry. Everything about this movie is pretty much perfect. The emotions you feel will constantly change but the tone of the film is consistent. The laughs are consistent. The sobbing is consistent. 50/50 is by far one of the best movies of the year and one that no one will soon forget.
It’s a tough subject matter to turn into a comedy, yet it somehow works. Naturally the humor is dark, since the plot revolves around cancer. The tone is set early with a joke about Patrick Swayze and doesn’t let up from there. But the jokes work. The movie is constantly hilarious and leaves nothing off limits leading to a natural representation of the characters.
The drama works really well too. The progression of the plot feels natural and the movie flows extremely well. It never goes too fast or too slow. As for the ending, the outcome feels right and is satisfying.
However, the best part of the film is the performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so perfect for this role. He is so likable but at first he doesn’t seem to be acting out of his usual spectrum. But by the end you forget you are watching him and become immersed in a man haunted by his disease. The supporting cast is excellent too. Seth Rogen is hilarious and get a fair share of the laughs but isn’t over used. Anna Kendrick is probably the cutest person in Hollywood and is adorable in her role here. Bryce Dallas Howard takes a page from her recent role in The Help and subtly plays a villain. Then there is Anjelica Huston, who plays Gordon-Levitt’s mother. She will remind you of your own mother in all the ways a mother will annoy you and love you.
50/50 will make you laugh, but never distastefully. It will make you cry at moments you may not understand why. It is a brilliant film and one you won’t forget. Go treat yourself to what may be the best movie you see this year. (**** out of 4)