Sunday, October 23, 2011

We Saw 50/50 This Weekend

I really liked it.  I could tell it was written by someone who went through a cancer battle.  It was funny and sad. I laughed a lot and teared up a few times when it hit close to home.  They nailed it when the whole world sort of slowed down and he didn't hear another thing after the doctor said the word "cancer".  And when he walked out of the doctor's office after his diagnosis into a hallway of people.  The whole world looked different, he was no longer the same person he was just a few minutes before and yet here was the world continuing around him like nothing happened.  He was healthy, he didn't smoke or drinks, he recycled and yet he still got cancer. 

The only time I couldn't stop the tears was when he put his head against his Mom's and hugged her before his big surgery.  That just reminded me of being with my parents before each of my surgeries.  I tell you, it is much easier being the one who is sick than one of the loved ones watching.  This was the second show I saw in a week that had cancer patients with overbearing Mothers.  Mothers that smothered and let everyone know just how much their kid's cancer diagnosis affected them.  That was completely opposite of my experience.  I have the two most wonderful parents.  They let me know from day one that they were on the train ride with me and that they weren't getting off until I got off first.  They only made me feel loved and supported, I never had any inkling of the sacrifices they made during my treatment and since.  They never acted like they were scared and were always positive.  It had to be a terrible experience for them and my sisters seeing me in such pain and getting sicker and sicker not too mention how it all could have ended.  But they never let me see it.  Seeing them being so strong and positive gave me the strength to be the same.  I owe them for so much and can never ever repay them. 

Anyway, back to the movie.  It was a great movie, a bit raunchy but it hit a lot of true notes.  I thought they handled the subject manner well without being too light hearted but not too heavy handed.  The main character "Adam" is very likable.  The others are like in real life, some are there for you and some pull away just when you need them most.  There are those that tell you how to beat the cancer and those that tell you about how their aunt died from exactly what you have.  Some medical professionals are personable and caring, others are professional and move you from here to there without answering many questions.  Some of the best people you meet are in the chemo chair next to you and not everyone survives.  Losing you hair is no fun and chemo is painful.  It is nice to have a canine companion to sleep next to during treatment. You can't do it alone and you are going to inconvenience others. It is good to get your rage out when it builds up too much and it is also good to apologize to those who you took your pain out on.  You try to hang in there but eventually you get so tired of being sick that you feel like you just can't handle it any more. 

The movie screenplay was written by Will Reiser.  He was diagnosed with cancer in his late 20s and the movie is loosely based on his experience.  I read somewhere that he was encouraged by Seth Rogan to write the screenplay. "We thought the best way to pull something good out of the situation was to get him to write a screenplay," Rogen is quoted as saying in the production notes.  I think they succeeded in pulling something good out of the situation.