If you like your comedy dark, you�ll love 50/50, a comedy � wait for it � about a 27-year-old guy diagnosed with a spinal tumour and given a 50/50 chance of surviving. A real thigh-slapper, eh?

The twist is that 50/50 is inspired by a true story very close to screenwriter Will Reiser�s heart � he�s the one who had the tumour.

Perhaps it is Reiser�s unique perspective on the experience that gives him the ability to treat the subject with such an exquisite balance of respect and levity, or perhaps he�s just an exceptionally talented writer. Either way, the result is a film that has you hanging on until the very last (and not just to see whether or not the main character does�

The character of Adam (based on Reiser) is played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who is possibly one of the most underrated actors of his generation. He�s a cautious, quiet guy who gives the impression of having been stomped on by life a fair bit (and that�s before the tumour!) His best friend Kyle is played by Seth Rogen, who is the actual basis for the character � he�s good friends with Reiser, and actually helped get the film produced.

Anna Hendrick plays the brilliantly awkward and inexperienced Katherine, assigned by the hospital as Adam�s therapist to help him deal with the situation. Angelica Houston does an incredible job as Adam�s overbearing mother, not only dealing with a husband in the advanced stages of dementia but desperate to make a connection with the son who�d rather forgetten she existed.

A lot of films have dazzlingly funny moments and take-the-wind-out-of-you sad moments, but not many films manage to do both at the same time.

The title 50/50 may well be a prediction for the kind of scores it will receive from critics, but for our money this little gem should be rated far higher than that.


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