Hark! A film that will kick you in the gonads with its emotional ride, and you will love every minute of it. As young twentysomething Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) discovers he has cancer with a 50% chance of survival, he goes through the motions of what comes next. He is faced with the brutality in fighting this vicious disease, which both complicates and fleshes out the true nature of his relationships.
Seth Rogan plays Adam's friend Kyle, who serves to help by being a true friend as well as providing comic relief a la classic Seth Rogan hilarity. As marijuana is to chemotherapy, the stoner comedy is to the sadness in this film, which underpins much of the comic relief. And who better to hold your hand whilst stoned and fighting deadly disease, but the likes of Seth Rogan? A profound new relationship is built between Adam and his therapist, Katherine (Anna Kendrick) who is as new to her career as Adam is to cancer. Anjelica Huston plays the clingy mother whose characterization is highly relatable and real to many of us. As for Adam's girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), to prevent from entering into a rant I will merely describe her as the all too common wannabe arty douchebage (and acted out beautifully so) of whom you will love to hate.
With a covert tone in revealing the psychological tribulations Adam faces within himself and across relationships, the film poses a subtlety that is shockingly profound. This profundity is largely attributed to the character development, which reveals itself increasingly throughout the film and is in itself extraordinarily absorbing. The writer Will Reiser himself has battled cancer which is what perhaps provides backing to the incredible realism behind its character dynamics. A film that will force you to burst out into both tears and laughter with a unique strangeness in its darkness of humor, 50/50 is a must-see of the year.