An oncologist(?), a psychologist, and a surgeon give master classes on unprofessional behavior while treating JGL and his unfortunately named tumor. Even though only one of the three was meant to look bad in the movie, they each break a fundamental rule of the doctor-patient relationship: don’t be a douchebag, don’t sleep with the patient, don’t tell them everything will be fine when you have no clue. Cut out the profanities, and you’d have a semester’s worth of medical ethics discussions.
Cut out the profanities, though, and you’ll miss half the movie. Seth Rogen — a dirty old man trapped inside Fozzy the Bear — does what he’s been doing ever since Judd Apatow found him, heart of gold included. Fortunately, 50/50 has better timing than anything to come out from the Apatow cringe factory, and even has a point.
Medical miscellanea: was the diagnosing physician a medical oncologist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, or an orthopedic surgeon? Likely not the first, else he wouldn’t give neoadjuvant cytarabine for a sarcoma, and probably not the latter two since another, overoptimistic MD does the actual surgery. Can a psychologist perform interviews for what she admits will be her PhD thesis without getting informed consent? How can a surgeon say with any certainty that “everything will be fine” minutes after performing what she admitted to be a difficult operation for a tumor with a relapse rate north of 50%. You know, the 50% that gave the movie its name.
Still, thumbs up.
Directed by Jonathan Levine, 2011