The Movie: 50/50

In case you haven’t heard, 50/50 is a movie about cancer. It’s been the buzz of the cancer world for a few weeks now. In fact, when the movie first came out, I began receiving emails from friends asking me if I’ve heard of the movie, and if I was planning to see it.

I really never gave it any thought until I looked the movie up online. Since it is called, 50/50, I thought it could have been an updated version of the news show, 20/20, with the very handsome reporter, Chris Cuomo. As I read the profile about the movie, I realized my mind was in the wrong place, which was the Country of Worship with Chris Cuomo. I did my reality check and found myself truly identifying with this movie, even though it’s a movie about a young man who is diagnosed with cancer and must endure the rigors of fighting it. After reading the summary of the movie, I knew I had to see the film.

Did I actually want to see the film with friends? I wasn’t so sure. Although I was a bit ambivalent, I did make a plan with a friend to see the film, but unfortunately, we spent way too much time talking, catching up, and eating. As a result, we missed the movie.  Was that a sign that I should see the film alone? I think so.

I promptly took MYSELF to see a matinee the next day. It’s really no biggie to go to a movie alone because it is such an antisocial activity. Don’t you think? For heaven’s sake, you don’t talk to a soul in a theatre, right? Who cares if people are gawking at a woman (me) with the large popcorn, box of Goobers, and a 16 oz. water bottle; right?

I went to the movie expecting more drama than a comedy about a dark subject. I was pretty stunned by how often I laughed out loud and by how much I saw myself in the film. It had me thinking for all 100 minutes if it is a true portrayal of cancer. I did feel there was a direct correlation with my life and the main character in the film. Who would have thought a cancer diagnosis would invade a health conscious “young” person!

I have to admit I am intrigued about the integration of humor in cancer treatment, because I incorporated absurdity and wit from my breast cancer experience into my book, Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds! A friend asked me if I listed 5 comic cancer moments in my book because I was easily able to discuss 5 from the movie. Ahem, YES…where to begin? Can we say, there’s humor in every chapter of Why Buy a Wig!


Though I didn't shave my head, I wanted to see if I had true survivors on my head. Truth be told, I had a few strands sticking out here and there on my egg-shaped head.

This is a remarkable representation of the “chalk-man” look. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and looking this ashen....and feeling as bad as I looked. Truth be told, my coloring changed from green to red (from the chemo) and back to white (similar to the Italian flag).

I spent a whole lot of time sitting outside with friends, laughing as much as possible. I didn’t wear a ski hat, though. My look was a bit more feminine. I matched scarves to many outfits and wore a newsboy hat most of the time.


50/50 suitably sheds light on the balance between pain, grief and the ridiculousness that can occur with treatment. It vividly finds ways to be perfectly candid about something so horrible and yet engaging and charming. In fact, it reminds me a little bit of Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds!

Go see the movie and judge for yourself.  Enjoy.

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