Both the film and Gordon-Levitt earned Golden Globe nominations in the Comedy or Musical category, but couldn’t crack the Academy. What gives?
Last fall, 50/50 received lots of early Oscar buzz, but Rogen didn’t believe the hype. The actor told Entertainment Weekly, “I know for a fact that some people are appalled by the movie.”
The film tackles the sensitive and personal subject of cancer. It’s something most people have been affected by in some shape or form. Will Reiser wrote the screenplay based on his battle with the disease and his humorous method of coping.
According to Rogen, “I think it must be people who have very, very personal connections to the subject matter and just can’t emotionally disconnect from their own experience. I respect that. But what we found for the most part is that people like to laugh at tragedy. It makes them feel better.”
There have been several award-winning films that center on cancer. The 1983 drama Terms of Endearment is a prime example. It dominated the Academy Awards, and won the Oscar for Best Picture, Director and Best Actress. But the film was a dark, dramatic piece that really pulled at your heartstrings. Whereas 50/50 takes the road less traveled.
“Often with films about cancer I think, ‘Wow, what a creative endeavor! You made something sad seem sad for two hours. Congratulations!'” said Rogen. “If you’re able to make that seem anything but completely miserable, I think creatively that’s a real challenge.”
If you missed out on 50/50’s theatrical run, the film is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray.