Adam: That's what everybody's been saying: You'll feel better and don't worry and this is all fine and it's not.
Katherine: You can't change your situation. The only thing that you can change is how you choose to deal with it.
50/50 is hands down my favorite film of 2011. That may seem a bit strange given the fact that it didn't receive much attention and was completely ignored by the academy, but the honesty and truth on display is a rarity in cinema these days. Everything feels real and that is mostly due to a fantastic script by Will Reiser. The autobiographical nature of the story, Reiser was diagnosed with cancer at the same age AND Seth Rogen was the friend that really stuck by him, leads to a deeper truth of what it's like to be a human confronted with death.
The true revelation is the aspect of time, and how hearing the word cancer can give a whole new meaning to one's time on Earth. When one's time is limited, with the possibility of eradication due to a form of spinal cancer, that person is left to contemplate their own life and the time wasted as a human being.
Adam (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and we follow his journey through his relationships, who sticks by, who uses him and who simply can't deal with the gravity of the situation. Seth Rogen plays the best friend who uses Adam to get pussy, but is still there for him, going to the extent of sharing his medical marijuana prescribed for his "night blindness". What a friend...but when he's there he's there. Bryce Dallas Howard is quite good as the girlfriend who can't handle the burden of dating a cancer patient, and in one of the greatest scenes of the movie is torn apart by Rogen's Kyle after being caught in a bad situation.
The standout role, besides Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is Phillip Baker Hall. He steals every scene he's in and brings it all back home in true character actor fashion. The balance of sadness and good old i-don't-give-a-fuck charm is on full display. His introduction as one of two chemo-mentors to Adam, the other played by Matt Frewer, offering of weed-infused macaroons truly shows his versatility as an actor. He's the real deal.
The essence of loneliness is isolation and when it's enforced by the actions of those close to you, it is brutal. But when a friend stands up and is a true support system willing to go to great lengths to bring about happiness...well...that's what it's all about.
I don't want to waste your time, nor do I wish to waste mine. Check out 50/50. This writer's favorite film of 2011.