In '50/50,' a twenty-something guy navigates dating and breakups after being diagnosed with cancer.
We've all worried — some of us more seriously than others — if we're going to die alone. In the movie 50/50, it's not really a joke.
Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a healthy 27-year-old who jogs, eats well and refuses to drive a car, because of the risk of getting killed in a car accident. (So he's a little high-strung.) After persistent back pain, he visits a doctor and finds out he has a rare form of spinal cancer. Adam is given a 50/50 chance of survival.
His friends and family are devastated, but he feels numb. Adam visits the hospital psychiatrist on his doctor's recommendation and meets Katherine (Anna Kendrick), a psychology graduate student who's 23 and has only had two other patients. He can see how inexperienced she is, but it mostly amuses him. He's getting through this cancer thing just fine, anyway.
Until he realizes he's not.
Adam starts chemotherapy and begins suffering the horrible symptoms of the treatment. He doesn't want to rely too much on his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston) who already has the burden of caring for his Alzheimer's-ridden father. His best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) is there for him, but Adam's artsy live-in girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) is distant. She won't even accompany Adam to treatment. "It's an energy thing," Adam explains to his chemo buddies at the hospital. "Sounds like a bullshit thing," one of them replies. 'What's Your Number' Movie Contest: Dish Your Number, Win A Prize
Can you imagine finding out your significant other has a terminal illness? It's not a reality many young couples have to face. When we think of couples fighting cancer together, we tend to think of older married people. Adam and Rachael are only dating, and his diagnosis comes at a time when they're already having relationship problems. What do you do when cancer turns a relationship that's not working into a gruesome sort of ménage à trois?
Even the healthiest relationships are tested in such a stressful, emotionally-wrenching experience. Rachael's caught cheating, and Adam dumps her. He's understandably angry. But on top of the usual breakup misery is the realization that his broken relationship really may have been his last chance at being in love.
It sounds like a tearjerker, but 50/50 is surprisingly funny and raunchy. Kyle encourages Adam to use his diagnosis to get laid, and there are some hilarious scenes involving the use of medicinal marijuana. Life goes on — even as Adam potentially faces death. He starts to feel sexual tension and growing attraction to his rookie therapist.
You'll have to see the movie in theaters now to find out Adam's fate. Be prepared to laugh and cry about 95/5.
Have you ever nursed a partner through a long-term illness? Could you leave a partner who was terminally ill?