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.
Theresa Fisher reviews the Amplicomms PowerTel 980 - 29 November 2013
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
Campaigns & Issues
How you can help combat loneliness in your neighbourhood
A set of resources to help individuals, groups, communities and neighbourhoods take a closer look at – and to reduce – loneliness.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation and JRHT’s Neighbourhood approaches to loneliness has been a three-year action research programme exploring and identifying what makes us feel lonely, where we live and work and what we can all do about it – personally and professionally.
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Competitions & Fun
Win tickets to Eat Pray Laugh - Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour!
Global star and legendary entertainer Barry Humphries, whose creations include iconic Australian housewife Dame Edna Everage and the exuberant cultural attaché, Sir Les Patterson, takes his final bow across the UK with his acclaimed farewell tour, EAT, PRAY, LAUGH!
Barry Humphries has already bid farewell to audiences in Australia and New Zealand, receiving rapturous standing ovations and reviews, with further performances added across the tour, such was the demand.
EAT, PRAY, LAUGH! Will give audiences around the country a final chance to see Humphries – one of the world’s sharpest wits and finest comic talents, and a gigastar of stage and TV over the last 60 years – as well as allow the maestro to thank his many fans.
Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
Enter now and you could win one of the 31 travel treats from our Christmas Stocking.
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
Preventing dementia through exercise
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) welcomes today’s government announcement of the doubling of funding research into dementia.
The government committed to spend £52 million in 2012 to 2013, and up to £66 million by 2015; the ambition is now to double public, commercial and charitable R&D in dementia in the UK by 2025, supporting leading scientists, universities and other institutions in seeking the next breakthrough.
Property & Finance
MGM Advantage responds to FSCP annuity market findings
Andrew Tully, pensions technical director, MGM Advantage commented: "The annuity market is not working as well as it could for many people who retire each year.
"Too often we see people take the pension with the company they have saved with, without realising the benefits of shopping around, not only for the best rate but also the right shape of annuity, particularly taking into account health and lifestyle.
Leisure and Lifestyle
A third of drivers don’t enjoy it anymore
A third of drivers simply don’t enjoy driving anymore, according to a poll by road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The main reason given for not enjoying driving on the roads was the cost of fuel (51%) closely followed by congestion (41%), no longer excited by driving (28%) and less leisure time (25.9%).
"I'm a pensioner, get me out of here!"
Today's pensioners may not have to endure daily Bush Tucker trials to top up their shopping baskets but for almost 70% of people surveyed by the deVere Group, cost of living is the primary concern about retiring in the UK.
According the results of a recent survey of 1,231 over 50's questioned by the international financial consultancy, cost of living is the primary motivation for quitting Britain with almost half (49.5%) stating that they have 'seriously considered', 'are thinking about', or 'would be tempted' to live overseas during retirement.
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