Comedians argue that no subject is out of bounds and nothing too delicate or serious for comedy. It seems that first-time feature writer (and Executive Producer) Will Reiser is testing out that argument with his script about Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a 27-year-old man who learns he has a 50/50 chance of surviving cancer. The result, ‘50/50’ shows that while any subject might be fair game, it still has to be funny to prove the point. Directed by Jonathan Levine, who wrote and directed the delightful coming-of-age comedy, the Wackness’, ‘50/50’, is a strained hybrid. It wants to pull the heart strings while making us laugh, but ends up doing neither very effectively.
Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) has a beautiful girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), a loving mother (Anjelica Huston) he can ignore conscience-free, a good job at a radio station and a best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), who chauffeurs the non-driver around. When Adam learns he has a 50/50 chance of surviving cancer, things start to look differently. He can’t work due to vomiting and chemotherapy; Rachael has been cheating on him; his mother is becoming overprotective; his father, who has Alzheimer’s, doesn’t know his son is ill, and Kyle sees cancer as a means of pulling compassionate single women.
Then Adam tries therapy as a way of dealing with his affliction. What Katherine, his 24-year-old therapist (Anna Kendrick), lacks in experience and good judgement is allegedly compensated for by her natural, caring and nurturing attitude. In short, therapist falls in love with patient and patient for therapist. Suddenly Adam recognises that Rachael never loved him anyway and Kyle turns from a jerk, into a responsible, sensitive jerk. Thanks to Katherine, he also reconciles with his mother realising she was lonely; caught between a husband with Alzheimer’s and a son with cancer. Thank goodness for this, too, as Anjelica Huston lights up the screen in her few allotted minutes, proving once again that that there’s no such thing as a small part….
Part of the problem with 50/50 is that Adam was a bore before he had cancer and hardly improves, while Seth Rogen’s crude, immature Kyle is, well, Seth Rogen all over again. Anna Kendrick, so wonderful in the film ‘Up in the Air’ opposite George Clooney, is such an improbable therapist it distracts from the romance. Even in a comedy, it’s impossible to believe in a therapist who is messily eating lunch when a new client arrives, or who expresses her sympathy with physical contact with her patient. Nothing funny comes out of the fact that Adam has cancer, and there is a distasteful and overlong scene in which Kyle invites two girls over to Adam’s after a night on the town.
Robert Tanitch Reviews the latest DVD's - 27 January 2012
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVD's - 13 January 2012
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVD's2 - 01 December 2011
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVD's1 - 01 December 2011
Campaigns & Issues
Woodland Court staff face secure future thanks to Brunelcare
Residents and staff at a retirement village in Downend have finally reached the end of two years of uncertainty, following the acquisition of Woodland Court by Brunelcare.
Previous owners of the 57 apartment village, Care Village Group, went into administration in June 2011, leaving the residents and staff with an uncertain future.
The top priority for the Bristol based charity has been to retain all 27 members of staff to ensure that the support services are maintained, whilst minimising any disruption to the residents.
Stamping their feet
THOUSANDS OF Post Office staff have taken part in strikes across the country following a dispute about closures, jobs and pay.
A staggering 88 per cent of Communication Workers Union members voted in favour of strike action, following a refusal from the Post Office to negotiate terms.
The 4,000 workers, from 373 offices, took part in the strikes in opposition to plans to close 76 offices.
They hope to protect jobs and services and secure a fair pay rise for Post Office staff - who have not had a wage increase since April 2011.
Competitions & Fun
Win a Doro PhoneEasy 515 handset!
We’ve teamed up with Doro to give four very lucky Mature Times readers the chance to win a Doro PhoneEasy 515 mobile phone.
The Doro PhoneEasy 515 has been designed to provide an easy-to-use mobile for people who might find mainstream handsets difficult or confusing to use. This beautifully stylish candybar phone features an easy-to-use camera enabling you to capture those spontaneous photos quickly and easily before sharing them with others.
The Doro PhoneEasy 515 has several user-friendly functions including a direct SMS key and a charging cradle to make charging hassle free. It also has a large keypad, enlarged text for easy dialing and messaging and a loud, clear sound.
Win a prize at home or away in this month's prize draw with Silver Travel Advisor!
Enter now and you could win a prize at home or away! How about a 7 night break for 2, with flights included, in beautiful Slovenia? Or a trip to London’s glitzy theatreland, staying in a 4* hotel? Both fabulous treats which must be won!
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Loneliness is a ‘ticking time bomb’
One in three people over the age of 50 struggles with loneliness – fuelled partly by a rise in later life divorces, according to an official study. Figures show almost seven million members of the baby-boomer generation and above admit to feeling lonely.
Research published as part of David Cameron’s plan to measure the nation’s ‘happiness’ said almost half of people over 80 feel lonely - many “much of the time”.
Campaigns groups say the study, by the Office for National Statistics, suggests the generation approaching retirement will be a “loneliness time bomb”.
Property & Finance
15 per cent of population claim financial worries are affecting their health
aspect of their lives
Leisure and Lifestyle
Singing you heart out
Music sensation Billy Ocean takes time out talk to Laura Heads about the release of his latest album and how making music has changed dramatically during his 40 year career.
The star has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime and has collected a pile of Gold and Platinum awards across the world. Billy’s unique reggae infused voice and musical style, representing his Trinidadian roots, are recognisable anywhere and it is that which has earned him his well-deserved number ones.
And the well-loved singer-song writer said that the way music is made has changed a lot since he first began in the 1970s. He said: “Music is now controlled by technology. New artists allow technology to control what they are doing.
New guide to travel insurance launched
THIS IS A handy to use and easy to read guide packed with tips aimed at helping older travellers when considering the purchase of travel insurance.
The guide came about as a result of the numerous enquiries we received here at the Mature Times’ offices regarding travel insurance for older people. MT Editor Andrew Young says ‘We receive many, many e-mails, letters and telephone calls from our readers regarding this subject. We know that as you get older travel insurance becomes more expensive, but there are ways that you can try to help offset some of these increases – and this guide can help you do that.’
Obviously as Editor you will have had many letters of thank-you's and well-done's, so please count this as one more from a convert to your excellent paper.