Directed By: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston

Generally, dealing with the subject of cancer is a touchy subject, even on the big screen.  When the powers that be decided to tackle the life of screenwriter Will Reiser and the nearly insurmountable challenges posed by his cancer and the notion of dying young, they knew that they needed a few jokes to cut the tension of such depressing subjects.  In the dramedy 50/50, director Jonathan Levine skillfully tackles Reiser's story.  Though I expected The Big C on the big screen, Levine gives us something much more realistic.

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a 27-year-old man, lives with his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) despite the fact that his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) absolutely detests her.  When he has back pains, he goes to the doctor and learns that he has a malignant tumor and suffers from a rare form of cancer. Because of his understandable concerns for his well-being and his life, the doctor refers him to psychiatrist Katherine McKay (Anna Kendrick).  Adam soon tells his mother (Anjelica Huston) about his ailment.

While facing the prospect of kicking the bucket at a young age and having quite a few unchecked items on his bucket list, Adam finds some friends in chemotherapy—Alan (Philip Baker Hall) and Mitch (Matt Frewer).  They turn him onto weed.  Kyle joins him in smoking weed and uses Adam's illness to get girls.  His girlfriend Rachael cheats on Adam, and he breaks up with her.  Meanwhile, Katherine gradually become a major source of support for Adam in his darkest hour.  She becomes more than just a doctor to Adam.

50/50 has a great blend of comedy and drama.  With Seth Rogen on hand, there are certainly plenty of laughs.  Kyle's determination to use Adam's illness to get laid is absolutely priceless.  Whether hitting on girls at a bookstore or smoking weed with Adam, Rogen's comic relief gave needed levity in a grave situation and probably keeps Gordon-Levitt's character sane longer than he would have been otherwise.

As Rogen carries the comedy of the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does the heavy lifting when it comes to drama.  He gives an impressive, realistic performance as the cancer-afflicted Adam. At the age of 27, Adam faces the possibility that he may never get the chance to even try to realize his dreams.  Gordon-Levitt brilliantly captures the wide array of emotions that Adam must be feeling as he faces his mortality at such young age.

While the comedy and drama are key to the film, romance is in the air as well in 50/50.  The chemistry between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick is restrained but always palpable.  Kendrick's Katie isn't the perfect psychiatrist, but she is the perfect person for Gordon-Levitt's down-and-out Adam.

50/50 is definitely a great dramedy that will probably be a sleeper hit.  The only problem with the movie is that it's too predictable, but I can forgive this.  I won't hold a grudge against Will Reiser though since he knows his own life far better than I do.    What makes this forgivable is Levine's skillful and painfully realistic filmmaking and great performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and the other stars of the film.  50/50 can be a little depressing, so it gets a 0.03% rating.  Have a few wine coolers with this one.