A doctor tells a young man he has cancer - a tumor. The man replies 'Tumor...Me?' The doctor says 'yes'. The man responds...'That's impossible...I don't smoke...I don't drink...I recycle.'
The young man is Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and he not only has cancer...but he has a super rare cancer...a giant tumor growing along his spine and his chances are...50-50.
So what does a person do with this kind of news? Well, writer Will Reiser, the real life person that this happened to, turned his life threatening disease, into a very funny, very touching and very beautiful movie entitled 50/50.
When the film starts, Adam has a pretty good life...a talented, sexy, artist girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), a cool job with NPR radio, and a bbf (best friend forever) Kyle (Seth Rogen). Will is a happy guy.
But when he discovers he has cancer. his entire life unravels. He finds that the people closest to him, might not be the best thing for his health.
There's his girlfriend Rachael, who tries her hardest to be loving and nuturing, but the poor, sweet girl, just can't seem to understand that Adam's disease isn't...all about her.
Then there's Kyle, who uses Adam's condition to lure girls into sympathy sex for both of them. Hey, a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do, right?
And we musn't forget Adam's mom, Diane (the wonderful Angelica Huston) who is so wrapped up in her own fear of loss, that she completely forgets all about her son's needs.
Luckily for Adam, he finds Katherine (Anna Kendrick), an inexperienced therapist assigned to his case, who can barely manager her own life, let alone someone who's dying.
"50/50" isn't one of those 'disease of the week' movies. It's a story about a guy who goes on a journey...a hillarious, poignant, scary journey and in the end...Well, you just have to see this wonderful film to see how it all turns out.
This is another of those rare times when John actually agreed with me. There's hope for him yet. Check out our video to see how many bagels the 'Two Jews On Film' awarded 50/50.
"50/50" directed by Jonathan Levine, opens in theaters Friday, September 30, 2011.
By Joan Alperin-Schwartz