A 99.9% Chance You’ll Like This Film

I just love the tag line - that's part of what sold me on seeing this film

I’m a nail biter and yes, I realize it’s a disgusting habit that I should quit.  I really only do it when I’m nervous…it just happens that I’m nervous an awful lot of the time (especially of late).  So, when a movie starts with a main character who just happens to be a nail biter as well, I’m interested.  That’s how the movie, 50/50, began for me this evening.

Initially I wanted to see this film because I had heard it received good reviews and I happen to enjoy the work of both Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon Levitt.  I didn’t know much more about it than it was a dramedy that was based on someone’s life (Seth Rogen’s friend, and writer of the film, Will Reiser) and battle with cancer.  Yes, it’s not your average, well-worn story – and it never feels that way.  It feels exceptionally real.  Okay, you could argue that “Staci, it’s based on real life events of course it seems real,” but a lot of movies based on real life events are easy to relate to.  This movie does and kudos are due to the cast for bringing a fantastic script to, for lack of a better work, life.

I haven’t felt this much of an emotional connection to a film in a really long time.  It is both funny, sad, and, at times, out right tragic.  Gordon-Levitt is phenomenal as the lead character and Seth Rogen is a wonderful counterpart.  Angelica Huston plays Adam’s (Gordon-Levitt) mom and does a wonderful job of being both overbearing and loving (things we adult children have to deal with from time to time).  In the end, it’s not just about one young man’s struggle with cancer – it’s about how he and his relationships evolve due to this unpredictable, unrelenting attack by the body against itself.

At the end of the day, just like with Art, it’s how we, the viewer relates to the image/story/piece.  We all bring so much of our own background/baggage to what we see.  When movies like this that are so realistic and so well done, it touches something that maybe we don’t even recognize – or want to recognize for that matter.  I have never had to deal with a close friend or family member having a 50/50 chance at surviving a disease that strikes without warning and doesn’t discriminate like cancer does.  Still, I have lost friends – I know what that is like.  I’ve lost family – watched them succumb to Parkinson’s and dementia.  Everyone has had some type of loss…we have also laughed with those that were sick….we have made bad jokes to ease the tension….we’ve all told them to look at the bright side…we’ve all LIVED with them.  Life is like that – good with bad.  All we can do is keep going forward and not give up – not on ourselves, not on each other.

At least that’s what I took from this film….. and while I can’t guarantee you’ll like this film – I think the majority of you out there will really dig it and feel a connection to it.

Go watch this film – take a friend to this film (a real friend, someone you can love whole heartedly but still acknowledge what an ass they can be from time to time) – and enjoy it   *SPOILER ALERT!!!! There is a happy ending which also happens in real life from time to time*

Here’s to living and loving…and maybe, MAYBE, not biting our nails any more.