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Review: There’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll like this

By River Reporter Nov 24, 2011

By Joe Longley

With a Patrick Swayze joke just twenty minutes into the film, and a large amount of the humour revolving around using cancer to get dates, some viewers may find the film cuts a bit too close to the bone.

However those that look past the shock comedy will be surprised by a heart warming story that will give you tears of sadness as much as tears of laughter.

Joseph Gorden-Levitt (Inception) stars as Adam a young man who is told by the doctor that he has a rare form of cancer and his chances of survival are only 50/50.

The movie follows his course of chemotherapy as he is supported by two older cancer patients, a young female hospital therapist (Anna Kendrick), and his controlling mother (Anjelica Huston).  

Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) plays the role of Kyle, as the marijuana fuelled best friend and comedy
injection of the film.

Kyle manages to convince Adam that 50/50 odds are actually fairly good, saying “if you were a casino game, you would have the best odds”. It doesn’t last long however, as a fellow cancer patient dies convincing him that this will be his fate.

This leads to the movie’s climax, an operation to see if doctors can successfully remove the tumour.

The portrayal of a man’s battle with cancer is always treated with respect; and how his relationships with lovers, family and friends are affected by the cancer is always the main focus.

Most of the really upsetting moments in the film involve Adam and his mother, who he pushes away for the majority of the film for wanting him to live with her again in his moment of need.

There is little room for offense here as the script, written by Will Reiser (Ali G in da USA), is loosely based on his own experience of struggling with cancer in his twenties.

You could see this film as a struggle against illness or as a love story but really it is about the lengths a friend will go to cheer you up in your time of need.

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