50/50 is a balancing act: a comedy-drama about a
man who learns
he has a tumor and a 50 percent chance of surviving. Writer Will Reiser and director
Jonathan Levine pull off twin feats: they sustain a tone midway
between ironic and poignant, and they touch the audience without pushing
pathos at us.
Recently, I prayed for someone to die. She wasn’t an enemy. She was the beloved teenage daughter of two exceptionally fine church friends. Sarah’s frail body, once so vivacious and spry, was failing, fading away—sucked of its verve and substance by a fierce internal rapacious monster: Ewing’s sarcoma, bone cancer.