I love going to the movies. My favorite time to go is for a Tuesday matinee. I like to sit halfway up and in the middle seat with my butter-soaked popcorn and gargantuan soda and nobody else (or only a few other quiet people) in the theater. It’s my alone time.
I don’t even care what I see, as long as it is in no way whatsoever scary. Of course, it’s much more fun to see something good, which is why I have become a big fan of seeing things twice in the theater. If I saw it and liked it once, then the second time I’ll know I’m going to see something enjoyable. It makes perfect sense, yet this practice of mine is one of a bajillion things my husband does not understand about me. I kind of like that he doesn’t get it, too. I have to keep my feminine mystique somehow, right? I mean, he saw me give birth so it’s not like I can achieve it with a special dress or something.
The most recent one I saw twice was 50/50, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. I went into it not knowing much of anything about the plot, which was both good and bad. Bad because I was completely unprepared for such a snot festival. Good because I wouldn’t have gone to see it if I had known what it was about. I lost my mom just under two years ago to leukemia, so cancer-themed movies are not really my scene any more.
Thank goodness for my ignorance, because 50/50 is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I’ll admit, I will probably like anything Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in without regard for its quality, but that can easily be balanced by how much I generally dislike post-Freaks-and-Geeks Seth Rogen. So it’s like it started out neutral, yeah?
Oh, Mr. Gordon-Levitt, run away with you? This is all so.... so sudden.
Without getting into the details of the plot, all I can really tell you is that this film handles the subject matter with refreshing and heartbreaking realism. It’s not one of those “cancer is a bummer but you can beat it with a smile” shows. Nor was it riddled with gratuitous sadness. It never felt heavy-handed, like the point of a scene was to make me cry. But on that note, my main regret was not coming armed with Kleenex the first time.
All this talk of cancer and tissues might be a bit misleading, though. Let me set you straight: in between ugly, heaving sobs, I laughed right out loud, even though I was one of maybe three people in the theater when I saw it first. It was pretty hilarious. Seth Rogen actually did a great job providing the comic relief. This might be, in part, because the character he was playing was, more or less, himself. I know, I know, “Doesn’t Seth Rogen always just play himself?” Good point. But the character in this movie was actually based on Mr. Rogen. The movie is based on it’s writer’s own struggle with cancer. Seth Rogen was one of his good friends.
Both times I saw it, it was marvelous. It is a bit early to make the call, but it might be my favorite movie. If you’re free next Tuesday, maybe we should go see it again.