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Trailer Review: 50/50

Is it okay to make cancer look like fun?

By / Posted on 08 June 2011

50/50Summer is right around the corner and big-budget blockbusters are in right now. X-Men: First Class just opened, Super 8 is sneaking its way into projection booths right now, Transformers and Captain America aren’t far behind. The summer months, for cinema, are about huge action and fireworks.

Much like summer camp romances, though, things need to cool down once the season ends. We need to become more introspective, more thoughtful, and more reserved with our relentless enthusiasm. Filmmakers in particular are aware that Autumn is when film critics start thinking about award season, that’s why our summer explosions are often capped off by autumnal historicals and tragic romances. While we’ve still got a whole summer of mindless explosions ahead of us, it is refreshing to look ahead to the cooler heads of September, and that’s why we’re so pleased with this trailer for 50/50.

50/50 is the semi-autobiographical tale of Will Resier, real-life friend of Seth Rogen who was diagnosed with cancer and, with the help of friends and family, prevented it from ruining his life. In the film, Reiser is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is never not fantastic:

It’s almost unfair for a serious movie about cancer to look fun, but 50/50 looks FUN.

The cast is almost too good. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been absolutely dominating every film he’s been in for the past few years, particularly Brick, The Lookout and Inception. It’s almost hard to remember him as the charming-but-socially-awkward teen from 3rd Rock From The Sun and 10 Things I Hate About You. Anna Kendrick is rapidly becoming one of our favorite actresses after her marvelous turn against George Clooney in Up In The Air and stealing the screen with her sisterly hostility in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Oh yeah, she’s also nice in that whole Twilight thing, I guess. Seth Rogen has somehow yet to wear out his comedic welcome, and he’s already proven he can work well against the discomfort of cancer with Judd Apatow’s Funny People.

There’s a certain weirdness to admitting one is looking forward to a film about a true-life cancer story, but 50/50 looks like a refreshingly honest film about the human condition, friendship, and life in general. It also looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. Look for 50/50 in a theater near you this September.

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Derrick Sanskrit has produced critically-acclaimed work as an artist and writer for Nerve, Babble, Pitchfork, The Onion and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, among others. He founded The Pop Aesthetic during the coldest months of his life in 2010.