Archive for the ‘Seth Rogan’ Category


01 Oct

50/50 – Directed by Jonathan Levine. Drama. The cancer diagnosis of a young man affects everyone around him. 99 minutes Color 2011.

* * *

I never thought I would live to see the day that Wallace Beery would be reincarnated on the silver screen, but Seth Rogen has caused it to come to pass. Much of the script has been written to accommodate his grunge comedy, and he is brilliant at it. But the script as a whole pulls sentiment like a dentist pulls teeth, so sometimes his unshaven goings on work well for us, although they never touch upon reality at any point, because the character he plays would have woken up to his friend’s inner plight long before Rogan is allowed to do so here – I suppose simply to keep the yuks going a little longer. The character who comes down with cancer is perfectly cast and played by Joseph Gordon- Levitt. He has sad and humorous eyes – think Lew Ayres – and we are with him right through to the end, which I shall not reveal but which is unlikely. Gordon-Levitt is very beautiful, never more so when he is with shaven head. All the actors are asked to force themselves into the lines of a script which is quite uneven, and the technique of the two young women, which is television acting at its most irritating, shows up badly. They react to everything, they respond to nothing. This means there is a show of feeling but no connection. They hem and haw mightily. Aren’t they cute? It’s so silly; it’s so greedy; it’s so frugal. On the other hand we have Seth Rogen who is a force of nature rather like an avalanche is a force of nature – responsive, quick, and blind.  Placed neatly under them all like the legs of a piano, Angelica Huston holds her own against every script fault imaginable, including the failure of the writers to develop her scenes. What a waste. And the great Philip Baker Hall as cynical old cancer buff – again a character who is left hanging at the end. But it is not for them that we go to this piece of gallows humor, but to see Gordon-Levitt execute it so honestly and endearingly.




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