August 11, 2015


The idea is very simple and interesting in 50/50. Imagine a mid 20’s young man, with his boyishness still unblemished from having to navigate through the real-world, be challenged and slighted with the real chance that he will die abruptly because of an unforeseen malignant tumor in his spine. It is, somewhat, another of the last gasp tries of a Judd Apatow farce, with Seth Rogan interstitially throwing in comedic jabs to lighten up the dialogue. Albeit Apatow tried to execute such an effort of his own with Funny People, but the protagonist was dealing more with a mid-life crisis of going down the wrong track; here, the young man has not even discovered that there are two roads to live by.


In a sense, then, the whole movie is confused. It wishes to explore a very tragic circumstance in a human life without having the seriousness to take it seriously. It is like a news program on Comedy Central; it merely wants to laugh at the world as a form of confronting it. In this sense, it hurries over disappointingly real, genuine moments that are created in a human life in an effort for the young man and his loved ones to quote cope. It becomes, then, in its effort to be funny, a muddled work. Truly, however, the direction of the film was to avoid such nauseating sentimentality; but that does not mean it must be completely absent. It is, then, the difficult tango each side of the dramatic coin must appreciate: tragedy cannot live without comedic elements, and vice versa.


And this does not even touch upon the negligence in portraying someone who undergoes chemotherapy. That is to say, perhaps as part of this blind-sidedness in depicting somberness, the filmmakers completely ignored the reality of an aggressive treatment of cancer. True, if taken completely authentic, there would not be much of a film, aside from someone bedridden during the entire motion picture. Nevertheless, the fact there is so much energy left with the main character, and his ability to essentially lead his life as he normally would, save for his hair, makes it seem as though the film was just an excuse to stage cancer jokes and juvenile issues wrapped in such context than anything more serious. In other words, it set the bar for itself very low, and even then, it could not reach the target.

Grade: C-



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