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Postcard Review – 50/50

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Dear 50/50,

Hearing that a movie regarding a young man’s struggle with cancer is going to be a comedy sets up a lot of weird expectations. Trying to explain your premise to my friends led to a lot of skeptical looks and coy smiles. What none of us could have guessed, however, was that you would live up to the strange promises you made and turn out to be a truly singular, affecting, and – most importantly of all – funny film. More surprising is that your story isn’t just a framework on which to hang off-color jokes and situations, but a real and integral part of your success.

This is your real boon and strength. You do not pretend there is a magic bullet to cure the hero’s predicament. No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says, no matter what he reads or does, his odds never change. His chance for survival is an immovable ratio of success to failure. What counts, though, is that there are people around him who care enough to fail so brilliantly at taking his mind off of that. Laughter is the best medicine, some say, and if that is true, each of these actors is a practiced doctor, and you are a walk-in clinic.