50/50 Monday 28 November, 2011

When you think of subjects to write comedy about one of the last subjects you would think of is cancer, right? Apparently not.

50/50 is a film about a young man who develops cancer and only has a 50/50 chance of survival (geddit?). It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the unfortunate Adam and Seth Rogen as his best friend Kyle. Those two sit atop a wonderful cast which features Bryce Dallas-Howard, Anjelica Huston and Phillip Baker Hall.

I feel I should address the situation regarding the massive, albino, pachyderm which is sat between you and I. I cannot abide Joseph Gordon Levitt. I have only ever walked out of a cinema mid-film once and that was from a film he was in. Also, it was largely because of him that I walked out. The film in question? 500 Days of Summer. I left at the point when little cartoon bluebirds were flying around his, hugely punchable, face because he was so pleased that he’d managed to bed the equally hateful Zooey (ugh, nice spelling, you ‘kooky’ shit) Deschanel. Never before, or since, have I walked out of a film and I have sat through some truly dreadful shite. There is just something about his winsome, manboy face that makes me not want to watch. Perhaps it is also the fact that he is so obviously ‘acting’. He would have been excellent in the cast of the Harry Potter films although he would have been overshadowed by the tower of thespianism that is Emma Watson.

Why, then, would I go and watch a film which starred him. Seth Rogen is your answer. I really like Seth Rogen. I have yet to see him in a film and not enjoy his performance. In fact I saw him voice an animated character without knowing it was him and really liked the character (Hogsqueal, The Spiderwick Chronicles). So, there is your answer. I went and saw this film because of Seth Rogen.

Unfortunately for me. He is not in this enough. This is very much a vehicle for Joseph Gordon Levitt to show us all how great an actor he is. He sure achieves that. This film would have been enjoyable if any number of other actors had played his character. Unfortunately any number did not and one did. About 40 minutes into the film another cinemagoer left. I was sorely tempted to follow.

The film follows Adam as he undergoes chemotherapy and how he tries to come to terms with his disease. It also looks at how it effects his relationship with his terrible ‘artist’ girlfriend and the relationship between him and his therapist (competently played by Anna Kendrick who I last saw opposite George Clooney in Up In The Air).

The problem is that I hate him and his acting so much that it is almost an unfair test of my moral compass to give his character a terminal disease. Thankfully I am not as bad a person as I had originally thought.

If you can stomach his shitty cardboard and ham acting there is a reasonable sweet and funny film here. For me though not even Seth Rogen could save this (and he saved Green Hornet, for me!). Go see it if you must but just don’t talk to me about it.

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