50/50 (2011)

<strong class="MovieTitle">50/50</strong> (2011)

(On Cable TV, June 2013) Cancer is usually the domain of the made-for-TV sentimental tear-jerker aimed at women, not the kind of quasi-comedies aimed at young men.  But 50/50 takes the bet that it has something to say about cancer and friendship between young men and the result is far more impressive than you’d think.  Joseph Gordon Lewitt stars as a young radio producer who discovers that he’s got a rare and potentially fatal form of cancer.  Seth Rogen brings most of the laughs as his crude friend trying to cheer him up.  (The film squarely earns one of its most emotional moments when the protagonist discovers the highlighted best intentions behind his best friend’s cheerful facade.)  Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick gets a thankless role as a grief therapist who, against nearly all imaginable ethical guidelines, falls for her patient.  As a refreshingly younger and brasher take on the familiar cancer narrative, 50/50 ends up reaching a new audience in an honest way, and the result is both hilarious and affecting. 

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