Character Growth

In April, I was invited to see a sneak preview of the upcoming film “50/50,” which concerns 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who’s fighting cancer, and Kyle (Seth Rogen), the pal who stands by him. It’s based on the true story of Will Reiser, writer, Rogen associate and cancer survivor. I felt like it was fine — sure, it killed a character off just after we got to like him, but by and large it played fair and found some laughs in an experience few of us could imagine. I was sure that, before the movie opened at the end of September, I’d have the chance to think about it more from my distant, abstract, wouldn’t-know-what-it’s-like perspective.

In May, I realized I didn’t like my doctor. So I got a new one. In June, my new doctor poked and prodded me and thought that my liver felt big, so he prescribed an ultrasound. I got one, eventually, on the 19th. And on the 22nd, I was called and asked to come in as soon as possible. My liver was fine, but there were “unusual changes” in my right kidney: a mass about 2 inches across. Which turned out to be cancer. And then, sympathizing with the characters of “50/50″ got much, much less abstract and the end of September felt a lot further away than it did before.

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One Response to Character Growth

  1. J.R. Parnell says:

    Hi James, just wanted to let you know that I read this on MSN and I really enjoyed it. This was a well-written article like all of your articles. I’ve been reading your reviews since Netflix and you’re my favorite film critic, I really take your opinions to heart. Thank you for taking the time to write this piece, I’m sure it was very different from the articles you usually create, and it’s wonderful.

    Have a great 2012!

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