Tag Archives: Anna Kendrick

“50/50”: That’s How Much I Liked/Disliked the Movie

Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) tries to comfort Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Dear Seth Rogen and Julia Roberts: Before you make any more movies that I might like, please call me. I want to talk you out of ruining them for me. Thanks.

The Mister and I saw “50/50” yesterday, which was an apt title for me: I half liked and half disliked the film. “50/50” is an odd dramedy, peculiar because it’s about a young man, Adam (well-played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who has a rare form of spinal cancer. The 50/50 really refers to the odds he has of survival. Usually, there’s nothing funny about cancer and the potential of death.

The movie is based on the real-life health issues of comedy writer Will Reiser, a cancer survivor who wrote the screenplay. Unfortunately for me, Reiser’s real-life best friend is none other than the foul-mouthed actor Seth Rogen. I don’t think Rogen is the least bit funny, so I’ve avoided seeing his movies. But the storyline for “50/50” seemed compelling, so I temporarily set aside my Rogen aversion and hoped he could be ignored.

Guess what: He couldn’t be. That was disappointing. And so was the film’s rampant drug use.

Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is Adam’s young therapist.

Despite my Rogen funk, there was plenty that’s appealing in “50/50.” I especially liked how we see what kind of person Adam is right from the start when he refuses to run across a deserted street until he has the signal. This was a character we could relate to . . . unlike Rogen’s, who uses Adam’s cancer to try to score with women.

Anjelica Huston plays Adam’s worried mother.

Anna Kendrick does a nice job as Adam’s inexperienced therapist, while Anjelica Huston is wonderful as his mother (some of the scenes between mom and son left me weepy). Once again, Bryce Dallas Howard plays the woman we’d all like to give a tongue-lashing, following up on her turn as the hated Hilly Holbrook in “The Help.” Here she’s Rachael, Adam’s increasingly conflicted girlfriend. I also enjoyed the relationship Adam forged with two older chemo compatriots, Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer.

I finally appreciated the Rogen character near the end when he showed his true colors. But Reiser should’ve picked someone other than his real-life bestie for the part, because I think he would’ve toned down the profanity for another actor. The Mister said that Rogen probably thinks the f-word is an everyday adjective, verb, and noun. But we don’t.

And was all that cussing necessary? Not at all. I’ve complained about this before, but I fear it’s falling on Hollywood’s deaf ears. In the real world, people use decent, nonvulgar vocabulary . . . well, at least they do in my social circle (unless I’m alone in the car and driving behind idiots).

Will you like this movie? The odds are 50/50.

Three Thumbs Up (If I Had Those Many Thumbs!)

Last weekend brought a binge of movies for us. But we didn’t feel overstuffed at all! In fact, all three that we saw were enjoyable.

First, on Christmas the four of us saw “Sherlock Holmes,” which was the #2 son’s #1 choice. We beat the crowd by going to the 9:45 a.m. showing. And we saved money—tickets are $5 each before noon.

Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr., and Rachel McAdams

Robert Downey Jr., who is not British, played the title character, who, of course, is British. Fortunately, he’s a good enough actor to carry that off. Jude Law was his faithful assistant, Dr. Watson, with Rachel McAdams as beautiful career criminal Irene Adler. Director Guy Ritchie’s rendition featured lots of physical action, which included Holmes boxing, juxtapositioning the mental game of crime solving.

The movie kept us on the edge of our seats the entire time. We really enjoyed it!

Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña) and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington)

Saturday morning brought “Avatar” into our lives, the #1 son’s pick. The special effects were dazzling, so much so that I was glad we didn’t opt for the 3D version. While it was an interesting story (humans genetically engineered alien bodies called “avatars” to try to reason with aliens in the future), I didn’t like being hit over the head with the pro-environmental, anti-war message. And I am both of those! However, it was much too heavy-handed in the movie, which was pretty violent. The boys really liked it, of course.

Anna Kendrick and George Clooney

The Mister and I saw “Up in the Air” yesterday. It stars my “second husband,” George Clooney.

Sidebar: This was my unusual conversation with another female moviegoer when I was buying tickets Friday. She was going to see “Up in the Air.”

Me: I really want to see that! My second husband, George Clooney, stars in it.

Her: Well, I’m having an affair with your second husband!

By the way, no male on earth will understand that exchange!

“Up in the Air” is about Clooney’s character, who plays a corporate downsizer (e.g., someone who fires people for companies). He has no attachments other than two sisters he hardly sees until he becomes smitten with a frequent-flying gal played by Vera Farmiga. As he continues in a hardly rational pursuit of mega airline miles, he’s paired with a new, young, female downsizer who wants to fire people via iChatting/Skype. Anna Kendrick, who plays Bella’s closest friend in the “Twilight” series movies, gets a more-sizable role here and really shows her acting chops.

Yes, yet another shameless chance to picture George in my blog.

The Mister and I both really liked “Up in the Air.” It’s billed as a romantic comedy or a comedy drama, but it’s really much more drama than comedy. It definitely makes you think about what’s really important in your life.

As someone who dislikes flying, I know frequent flying miles never will be more important than the people I love. And that includes those make-believe husbands!