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Kingdom Reviews a Movie: 50/50

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As always, possible spoilers abound. You've been warned.

Let me start off by asking you this: As you were watching 3rd Rock from the Sun, did you ever think that "Tommy" would end up being the IT actor from that show? I speak of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, indie darling turned blockbuster drama/dramedy/action film star. And he's still doing the indie biz. By the way, he's legitimately awesome at the acting thing.

50/50 is one of those films that you just have to step over the edge and just watch. I realize it's hard for starters, because you see "Seth Rogen" and freak out. Look, I liked Seth Rogen in Knocked Up. And for the most part, he's been unlikeable since. Yet, he serves a good purpose in this film. There is also Bryce Dallas Howard in a typically fitting bitchy role. Look, Ron Howard's daughter has been nothing but a very unlikeable actress in pretty much every movie I've ever seen her in. I've never seen the "Village" though. Completely canceling out BDH is the VERY enjoyable Anna Kendrick. Sometimes, she seems too normal to even be an actress.

There are comedy elements in this film. There are a lot of dramatic moments in this film. The plot is realistic in nature. Actually, it's completely real. Let me tell you why, beyond being a huge fan of JGL, that I was drawn to this film. The plot is of a 20's something man who is suffering from a spinal ailment, schwannoma neurofibrosarcoma which is a big long word that sounds like I just sneezed (I swear I didn't) that stands for a malignant tumor. You see the story evolve from his diagnosis, to his struggle both physically and emotionally, to a daring ending that boils down to life or death. Hence, the title, 50/50. Who I am as a person, in part, as been defined roughly the past 10 years by my own spinal ailment, one in which grows worse and worse as time passes (I have a degenerative spine, which to paint you an accurate picture, my spine is slowly collapsing like a Chinese fan). Seeing this movie, I see the main character finding commonplace tasks, ones that most of us and yes even me at times, take for granted. Simply getting out of bed, bending over or kneeling down, ...just moving, can turn into agonizing tasks. What I saw in this movie is a man struggling with this ailment and despite having so many chances to give up because it's the easiest thing one can do, he ultimately does not and goes through with the surgery. One day, I face the same scenario, and that scenario could help, could not help, could paralyze me, or even kill me.

Is it often that you can perfectly relate to a movie or a character? I would say in the truest sense, no. For me, I felt like my life was being played out. Does it give me hope? Slightest bit, yes. I will openly admit that I bawled like a baby during this movie. My soul was drowning in tears. This could have been a subject poorly handled. But with the acting, and yes, I am evening lumping Seth Rogen in with this statement, and script, this was a serious matter handled with class. With some laughs thrown in. If you have not seen 50/50, do yourself a favor and give it a go. I don't think you will be disappointed.
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