Surviving Cancer. A Review of Film “50/50”: Director: Jonathan Levine USA 2011 Star Rating: ***

Journal of Medical Humanities 33 (3):213-214 (2012)
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Most films dealing with cancer either adopt a sentimental approach or trivialize the impact of a diagnosis of cancer on patients and their families: Stepmom (USA, 1998), Sweet November (USA, 2001) and My Sister’s Keeper (USA, 2009) are a few examples. Few films, such as Wit (USA, 2001), have avoided common stereotypes and portrayed cancer patients as strong individuals trying to come to terms with their illness, rationalize its impact on their lives, and deal with the healthcare professionals in a believable manner. The new film from director Jonathan Levine, 50/50, belongs to the second category in dealing with cancer patients as believable people with whom the viewer can empathize. It is refreshing to see that the film deals with its emotional subject in a humorous way without patronizing its audience or their intelligence.



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