Posted October 1, 2011 by whopperjaw in Flicks

Bromance Blooms Against the Odds in ’50/50′

Friends since high school, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kyle (Seth Rogen) lead pretty average lives. They work together at the Seattle public radio station and struggle, as many single guys in their mid-twenties do, with keeping relationships together. Adam, a guy who plays by the rules, has had more luck lately with Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard), a Prius-driving abstract artist who has essentially moved into his modest house. Kyle is not her biggest fan.

All their lives are thrown for a loop when Adam, who is only 27, is diagnosed with cancer. He seeks counsel from Katie, a young, inexperienced therapist (Anna Kendrick) who has only treated a couple of patients before him, and eventually even tells his perpetually worried and aggressively caregiving mother (Anjelica Huston). Adam’s relationship with flighty Rachel quickly devolves; she can drive him to the hospital but is unwilling to go in when he gets his treatments.

In the meantime, Adam’s cancer hasn’t responded to the chemo, and he must undergo a risky operation to try to remove the tumor lodged in his back. That’s when it all breaks loose and the normally cautious, rule-following Adam becomes even more unpredictable than the chaotic friends and family in his life.

It’s not a spoiler to say that Kyle makes it (Rogen has said as much in interviews when he’s discussed the true story that’s the basis for the film). As much as this movie follows the trajectory of the stereotypical bromance, it has many heartwarming moments and Gordon-Levitt is terrific as a guy who represses much of his anger and frustration as he deals with a potentially terminal disease. Essentially playing the same loud-mouthed sarcastic character that he’s played in Freaks and Geeks and many film roles he’s had since, Rogen is funny as Kyle’s smart-ass pal. And Howard, Huston and Kendricks do their best with characters that are ultimately a little underdeveloped.

Overall, we laughed (and cried), and we think odds are most people will like 50/50. Unless, of course, they were expecting a Knocked Up knockoff.


Whopperjaw is slang for anything slightly askew or out of whack which describes us perfectly. Our online mag covers interesting interviews, craft brews, movie reviews, music news and more.