January 16, 2012 1 Comment
There must be some sort of rule in Hollywood that states that if a movie is about cancer, it’s got to be utterly depressing and a sob fest. I understand that the subject matter they are dealing affects millions of people and can be a devastating time in one’s life, but is it all death and sadness? Is it about just giving up hope and wallowing in your depression? It’s a trivial thing for me to say this being that I don’t have cancer, but I can’t imagine life being over as soon as those words come out of the doctors mouth. I am certain I will catch flack for this so I am well prepared for any backlash. Movie are meant to be entertaining, that is the point of films, at least that is what I want them to be. You can make a compelling movie without having to resort to tears and sadness from the get go. You want me to feel sympathetic with a characters dilemma, then at least let me get to know the character.
50/50 was and still is one of the most underrated comedic drama’s that came out this year. Sure some people might have been turned off by the premise as Funny People sort of covered it the previous year with the terminally ill character trying to lead a life in comedy while fighting the illness. I personally found that to be both mature and effective in the themes that it was going for. 50/50 was a here and there film, meaning I got to see the movie in the 2 week time span that it was available at our multiple theaters and was absolutely stunned by how funny and touching a movie about having cancer can be. It does what a lot of movies that deal with this subject matter miss a lot and that is the character aspect of the films. Instead of following a character that is on the path to death right from the start and slowly watching that person wall himself up from society, 50/50 managed to make a compelling film that follows Levitt as a young person dealing with the in’s and out’s of coping with his new found odds on life. He doesn’t become a wreck or push everyone away, but rather goes on with life and the notion that he’s got a shot at beating this. He is young, optimistic, and has a full plan for his life.