First Hit: A surprisingly good and well thought-out film.
I’ve stated this before that I’m not a Seth Rogan fan. Here he plays the same person, himself, but this time it fits.
Seth, as Kyle, is the best friend of Adam (played Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who discovers he has cancer. He is an obnoxious friend but he is also caring in all the ways Adam's girlfriend Rachel (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) cannot be. Rachel makes an attempt to move in with Adam and assist him with this battle, but as time goes by she learns that this isn’t within her wheelhouse.
Kyle dislikes Rachel and gladly catches her having an affair and tells Adam. Rachel gets appropriately kicked out of Adam’s house. Kyle does everything he knows how to do to assist Adam through this trying time, even reading books on how to be supportive of a dying friend. He drives him to and from doctor's appointments along with trying to get himself and Adam laid using cancer as the excuse/reason.
For additional support Adam gets assigned a therapist named Katherine (played by Anna Kendrick) who is very young therapist that tries to assist Adam with his denied emotional struggle. These are the major players in this film about what happens to relationships, families, and friends when someone gets this news.
Not all things are covered in this film, but the important ones are brought forth. There is the denial, fear, and acceptance which gets expressed for everyone at some level. The strength of this film is in Gordon-Levitt’s ability to be with this character.
This film doesn’t break any new ground on the subject, but it does bring a well told thoughtful story.
Gordon-Levitt was very good as the guy who always settled for second best learning how to accept life more fully. Rogan was really good as the obnoxious friend who has a heart and does what he knows how to do to be there for his friend. Howard is elusively perfect as the girl who wants to do good but has one foot out the door and is un-thoughtful towards Adam. Kendrick is a lot like her other major role in “Up In The Air” as a smart but lacking experience and street savvy person that does learn by the end of the film. Will Reiser wrote a strong script. Jonathan Levine did a credible job of directing this story.
Overall: This was a very watchable and thoughtful film.