Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/19/14

I am no professional movie reviewer, so please allow me to lower your expectations right off the bat. If you want professional reviews of 50/50, the new movie released this weekend starring Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, then go here (Ebert) and here (Leitch).

I’m not sure what either Ebert or Leitch said about 50/50 because I haven’t read their reviews yet, nor any others. I’ve just seen it, last night. And so here’s my review:

Go see this movie.

I absolutely loved it. I loved the honesty in the performances, I loved the honesty in the storytelling, and I loved the honesty in my own visceral reaction to the movie. So I suppose if you asked me to boil down my reaction to 50/50 into one word it would be that: honest. It’s an honest film, and I really like walking out of a movie theater thinking I’ve just seen an honest story told by people who honestly loved telling.

And here’s the great thing about a movie like 50/50 feeling honest: it’s based on a true story…a true story in which Rogen plays himself.

I love Seth Rogen's facial expression in the poster.

50/50 tells the story of two friends, Adam (the superb Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kyle (the hilarious Seth Rogen), and how they deal with the 27-year old Adam being diagnosed with cancer. There are other characters who play key roles – Bryce Dallas Howard’s ****** Rachael, Anjelica Houston as Adam’s overprotective mother, and most notably Anna Kendrick as Adam’s cut, earnest therapist – but at its heart this is a story about two young friends dealing with a situation that people so young should never have to deal with.

There are many scenes in this movie that made me laugh out loud, and there are many scenes that made me wipe away tears that had welled up in my eyes. (Yes, it’s one of those types of movies.) But my favorite scene is towards the end when Adam finds a book. I won’t spoil it by giving any more away, but it was a scene that, for me, revealed the heart of the story.

I don’t want to get into breaking down the plot, and dissecting scenes, and comparing it to other movies. That’s what professional movie reviewers do, many of them very well. As I said above, I’m not that. I’m just a guy who likes movies, who sees a decent amount of them, and who knows at least a little something about a well-told story. 50/50 is most certainly a well told story, and it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen a while.

As I said before: go see this movie.


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