Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a young man diagnosed with cancer, given a 50/50 chance to live. Seth Rogen plays his best friend helping him through chemo, and Anna Kendrick is his naive therapist-cum-love-interest.
Generally this is the brand of indie nonsense that is hard to stomach, however surprisingly Levine manages to make it work. Cancer is never going to be a laugh-a-minute topic and to some extent he embraces this fact; nothing feels too forced.
Much of the success is owed to the funny and touching on screen relationship between Rogen and Gordon-Levitt. Most of it seems improvised but again Levine seems to know when to call it day; things never veer off into Apatow levels of self-indulgence.
There are some welcome supporting roles from Anjelica Huston and Philip Baker Hall who always bring something interesting to the table. Bryce Dallas-Howard also deserves a mention as Levitt’s original girlfriend who can’t take the pressure.
Will Reiser wrote the script based loosely on his own experience with cancer, and it shows. 50/50 rings true in a way so few films like this seem to.