Joseph Gordon-Levitt has hilarious cancer

50/50 comes from writer Will Reiser, director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  Once called “I’m With Cancer,” the title refers to the protagonist’s odds of surviving his battle with cancer, based on Reiser’s real-life cancer scare.  So yes, it’s a film about a guy dying of cancer, but it’s also funny because JGL shaves his head with Seth Rogen’s pube clippers. Aw, I bet Seth Rogen’s pube hair is even more pubey than his hair hair.

“We worked with Will on Da Ali G Show, and it was shortly after that we learned he was sick.” Rogen recalls. “As shocking, sad, confusing and generally screwed up as it was; we couldn’t ignore that because we were so ill-equipped to deal with the situation, funny things kept happening. Will got better, and when he did, we thought the best way to pull something good out of the situation was to get him to write a screenplay. Ideally we wanted to make a film that would be as funny, sad, and hopefully as honest as the experience we went through.”

On a serious note, I think comedies are about sad stuff are great, and not purely out of some reactionary contrarianism.  Go watch a comedy open mic where people are only talking airline food and the hilarious combination of ethnicity they are and you’ll see why.  Trivial observations are just a lot funnier when you’re not being drowned in trivial observations.  It helps having something deeper there to balance it. Some of the hardest times I’ve laughed have been at sad things, like funerals.  Like the time my cousin Stevie drew a cock on our grandma’s face at her open casket.  I mean the thought of her going up to heaven like that?  Bro, we were dying.  Of laughter, I mean.

[HD available at Apple, Opens September 30th]