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December 8, 2011 / magickittenblogs

50/50 – if you were a casino game, you’d have the best odds!

Last night, the boyfriend and I went to see 50/50, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen. I hadn’t seen a Seth Rogen film before but was anticipating a light dose of puerile humour. I’d also heard Kermode and Mayo’s review so had an idea of the plot – SPOILER ALERT – young man develops cancer, copes with the help of his buddy.

I was stunned by the emotional depth of the film and the way it dealt with such a serious issue in such a realistic and recognisable manner. About three years ago, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer; it was a month before Christmas when she received her test results and told the family what had happened. Watching Levitt hear that news was like a flashback.

It really hadn’t occurred to me how much I would be affected by the film – Mum made a full recovery; they fitted her in so quickly that she was home on Christmas morning and all her follow-up tests have come back 100% fine. What got me was the very human reactions of the friends and family of the main character, the way they managed to keep going rather than dwelling on the illness itself, and all the little practical details of coping with cancer.

In terms of gender politics, it’s perhaps not the most generous portrayal of women – the female characters are not drawn in as much depth as the central buddies but I can easily forgive that.

It’s Levitt’s story and it’s a triumph.

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