Do you know what it’s like to be living a perfectly normal, happy life as a young adult in their late 20’s and be diagnosed with cancer and be told that you might die from it? Unfortunately I do. 50/50 is a comedic movie to give those, not so fortunate people a feel of what young adults facing cancer go through. 70,000 young adults (aged 18-39) get diagnosed with cancer each year. We sit in waiting rooms with people two to three times our age facing a death sentence. Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is diagnosed with a rare cancer in his spine. His best friend (Seth Rogan) helps him try to deal with it by bringing humor to his life and teaching him to use his cancer to his benefit. His mom (Anjelica Huston) wants to take care of her little boy (or so he is in her eyes) but Adam considers more overbearing and annoying than helpful.
This movie brought out a lot of raw emotion in me that I had buried since going through cancer. For one, everyone wants you to stay positive all of the time. The chemo can give you such depressive thoughts and you have to face the fact that you might not survive. I didn’t call it depression, I called it facing reality. I chose to get everything in line in case I didn’t survive. The movie shows Adam’s journey through all the emotions of cancer/chemo and facing a possible death sentence. He goes through the highs of medicinal marijuana to the lows of puking from the chemo.
Focusing on the Details
My only complaints about the movie are small details. For one, why didn’t Adam lose or at least get his eyebrows thinned out while on chemo? Do you ever see cancer patients that are bald from treatment but have bushy eyebrows? No, chemo attacks all the fast growing cells in the body including all hair follicles and nails. Second, this would have been a GREAT opportunity for any of the number of foundations that help young adults facing cancer to be mentioned. I personally, am a fan of i2y.com (aka I’m too young for this aka stupidcancer.com). This is a site started by a man who faced brain cancer as a young adult and couldn’t find any resources dedicated helping young adults with cancer. This site is actually the first place I heard about the movie 50/50 several months ago. Also, livestrong.com is a huge organization and has a section dedicated just to young adults. Lance Armstrong was mentioned in the movie but not his foundation.
I found this movie was entertaining, emotional and endearing. The audience clapped when the movie ended and I will admit I was one of them. With having Seth Rogan in the movie and as producer, of course there is a lot of language and drug references. So it is not for the ultra-conservative. I left feeling good about the movie and it’s stayed on my mind for the past several days as I remember my illness and the feelings that I went through and still go through from battling cancer. I would give it a 5/5!
This was a guest blog post written by Kristie Williams.