Adam Learner (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is 27 years old and living a pretty settled and successful life. His two best friends are his girlfriend, Rachael (by Bryce Dallas Howard) and his long-time buddy and co-worker Kyle (by Seth Rogen). Adam’s a pretty laid back and “take it as it comes” kind of guy. Even when his relationship starts to show some bumps, he’s sensitive to what may be causing it, so doesn’t make much fuss about it. He’s not one to complain about much, really. His life is pretty steady, but lately he’s noticed a pain in his back that isn’t going away, so he goes to get it checked by a doctor. He discovers he has a rare form of cancer and he needs chemotherapy immediately. When he tells Rachael, as their relationship is relatively fledgling, he gives her an “out” and says he would understand if she didn’t want a part of it and left him. But she says she’ll “be there for him”. Kyle, on the other hand, is very upset but supports Adam through it in his own way. Adam’s mother, Diane (by Anjelica Huston) is put out at being the third person to find out (and not the first). Adam’s father has well progressed Alzheimer’s disease and Diane already takes care of him, but like a martyr and doting mother, she assumes she will also care for Adam during his illness, but this is the last thing Adam wants. To help him face all the issues ahead, he starts to see therapist Katie McCay (by Anna Kendrick), but she is very young and inexperienced, so Adam doesn’t hold out much hope of help from her. Still, he takes this in his stride too. As with most things, at first Adam says he’s fine, his friends rally around for a while, but when things get difficult the true friends shine through and Adam starts to appreciate what’s really important in his life.
This is a movie that addresses some difficult and potentially emotive issues – but it does it in a very entertaining and gentle way. It’s very well done. The boys, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen are great and their performances are very complementary – totally authentic. Bryce Dallas Howard plays her role well and Anna Kendrick is very good too – she seems to play “inexperienced” well. Anjelica Huston is almost unrecognisable as Diane. I really enjoyed this movie. At times the issues are confronting, but overall it’s a very good and nice movie.
Made in 2011. Directed by Jonathan Levine