Joseph Gordon (left) and Seth Rogen appear in 50/50

Aisle Seat: Rogen provides some comfort

50/50 movie

  • Oct. 9, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Cancer and comedy don’t make for great bedfellows.  Seth Rogen should know that well; he was part of Judd Apatow’s 2009 slight misfire, Funny People, which tried to find humour in the concept.

But now, in the movie 50/50, he and his team get it right.  Perhaps part of the reason? This time, for Rogen at least, it’s personal.

50/50, a drama that carries a bit of a light edge to it all things considered, was written by Will Reiser, a comedy writer who was diagnosed with cancer in his mid-20s, and had a great pal to walk with him through the battle – a frumpy funny man by the name of Seth Rogen.

And if you think a guy like Rogen can’t find something to laugh about, no matter what the ordeal….well, then you don’t know Rogen very well.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 50 Days of Summer) plays Adam, a 20-something broadcaster who visits his doctor with back pain.

The diagnosis is a rare form of spinal cancer, and the odds of beating it are…you guessed right…50/50.

And so begins an emotional roller coaster journey that has Rogen, his best friend, encouraging his pal – oh, and using his illness to pick up sympathetic women – his ice cold girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), sticking by him out of guilt, his mother (Angelica Houston), smothering him, which seems to be the only thing she knows how to do, and a sweet therapist-in-training (Up In The Air’s Anna Kendrick) trying to help Adam, only her inexperience sometimes makes matters worse.

It’s often been said that laughter is the best medicine.

For 50/50, it ain’t a bad plan at all; the movie’s best moments come from Gordon-Levitt and Rogen genuinely doing what good buds too — clowning around, being raunchy, but most important, being real.

Part of the magic in this relationship is that Rogen is probably the only character that doesn’t treat his friend like the obituary has already been written.

In many films (The Green Hornet included) Rogen’s profane immaturity brings things down. Here, it brings an odd kind of comforting warmth to the proceedings.

The feature is playing at Galaxy Cinemas at The Shops at Polson Park in Vernon.

Jason Armstrong is the longtime film reviewer for The Morning Star.


Just Posted

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

COLUMN: Trudeau trips his way towards election campaign

Glenn Mitchell thinks the drama teacher in Canada’s Prime Minister is coming through

Vernon sewer hook-up smells fishy

Okanagan Landing resident questions City of Vernon timing on counter-petition plan

Vernon takes step towards cutting carbon footprint of its buildings

City council decided on Monday to adopt the BC Energy Step Code to improve its building efficiency

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Most Read