50/50: directed by Jonathan Levine; written by Will Reiser
Adam Lerner is the epitome of the everyman. He has an overbearing presumptuous cad for a best friend, an over attentive mother and a girlfriend who’s not as besotted with him as he would hope. He recycles, he does not drink and he does not smoke. He’s such an everyman, and yet he contracts an incredibly rare genetic form of cancer. From the few adverts I’ve allowed myself to see of 50/50 it sets itself up as something like the anti-terminal illness film. True, our protagonist might have a life-threatening disease, but the presence of Seth Rogen, and a very easy but not overtly avant-garde vibe promises a film which promises more belly laughs than sobs. It’s a purpose I can understand. Contemporary cinema has been continuously trying to eviscerate oversentimentality from its canon, to look at the most mawkish of situations with the most objective of eyes and without sentiment. Maybe, I overestimate, though. Because, by disallowing the viewer to be caught up in strategically placed precipitants to tears 50/50 does not evade banality.