50/50

Thursday, September 29 th, 2016 at 00:09 am 

50/50

JOY REVIEW

50/50 is a well meaning movie, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt who is a terrific actor, Seth Rogen who is not; Anna Kendrick who is not, Bryce Dallas Howard who is not, and Angelica Huston who is. So, what we’ve got here is the story of a 27 year-old man who discovers, in spite of the fact that he has a cool job and a beautiful girlfriend, that he has cancer. It was sort of interesting in the screening when the doctor is reading the diagnosis; I’m going oh, because I sort of knew what the diagnosis was. The idea is how he sort of navigates his life with his friends, obviously inspired by a personal story –the writer experienced his own battle with cancer. The problem to a certain extent is the casting.  Even though Joseph Gordon Levitt is very good, Seth Rogen always plays Seth Rogen, which I just find tiresome. Anna Kendrick plays the therapist here, who calls herself doctor even though she doesn’t have a PhD, because, she is supposedly working on her dissertation. She looks like she’s 12 years old, and I’m sympathetic. I mean I had my PhD when I was 25 but I actually had a PhD, I could actually legitimately call myself doctor. She touches her patients, which is strictly forbidden. A therapist never touches a client, because it messes up transference. She wanders around in blue jeans, looking like a slob, and her first client comes in when she’s eating her lunch, and she makes house calls. I mean, completely unprofessional behavior with a not very compelling actress. Bryce Dallas Howard seems to be specializing in tough, brittle, broad roles, and they always seem the same as well, but Angelica Huston is really the reason to go see this movie. There are a couple of truly touching scenes where the mom is dealing with the fact that her husband has Alzheimer’s, and her son is somewhat remote and has cancer, and it’s a heartbreaking role. She doesn’t have a whole lot of lines, but she’s terrific. So, I would give this movie two and a half stars.

JOY METER1/2