Cancer isn’t an easy subject. Comedy isn’t an easy thing to pull off. To combine these two seems like a daunting task. Jonathan Levine somehow pulled it off, quite great too. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character, Adam is 27 years old. He just found out he has cancer. He doesn’t know what to do. As he utters in the film “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink….I recycle!” He doesn’t know how to take this news. Sometimes bad things just happen to good people. He goes to his best friend, Kyle played by Rogen. Their friendship is established before this predicament. They’re about as close as you can get. Kyle takes the news quite hard, almost as if it’s happening to him. Adam’s girlfriend on the other hand, clearly cannot deal with the huge burden of taking care of a cancer patient. Adam gives her an out right away, tells her she can make a clean break if she isn’t up to it. But like most women, she lied and said she could do it.
Adam and his mother are somewhat estranged. He barely talks to her. She already has to deal with his father who has Alzheimers. Adam just doesn’t realize how everyone is their for him. He is thinking “woe is me” the whole time, which he can think rightfully so. But every corner you look around, someone is there for him in his corner. He was focusing on what wasn’t there for him and who wasn’t. Adam makes a connection with three people at the hospital. Two other cancer patients, one played by Phillip Baker Hall who is my favorite character in the whole film. The other being his psychiatrist played by the lovely Anna Kendrick.
This film has a series of ups and downs that are pretty balanced. I would be laughing my ass off then quickly switch to a sad state. The ending had me tearing up and then to the film’s true nature had me laughing the next second. Joseph Gordon Levitt should receive serious Oscar nomination. He dominated this role. The writing was flawless and should most certainly be up for best original screenplay. Everyone should see this.