The Dinner: A hearty beef mushroom burgundy pie and homemade macaroni and cheese at Pies and Pints.
The Movie: 50/50 at AMC Pacific Place.
The Screenplate: We've all met 50/50's Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). He's that guy--you know, the one with the sweet, melty smile--whom you met at some laid-back Ballard pub a few months ago. He takes a bus to his job at the public radio station (probably KUOW) because he believes that driving from his Craftsman rental in West Seattle is too risky. He recycles, wears North Face clothes, and has an artsy girlfriend who occasionally drives him around in her Prius. He probably even pronounces "bags" like "begs"--a sign of a true Seattleite.Adam is just a normal 27-year-old guy. So it's shocking when you hear that he's been diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer and that he only has a 50/50 chance of surviving. Young people aren't supposed to get sick and die; they're invincible.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt passes off as the cancer-stricken Adam much, much better than Vancouver, B.C., passes off as Seattle. He makes 50/50 a thoughtful--comedic but depressing-- movie, even if it sloppily mixes and matches its Space Needle and Stanley Park. We don't care, though, because this movie gently reminds us that mortality can be around any corner.
Based off the life of its writer, Will Reiser (a friend of co-star Seth Rogen), 50/50 convincingly shows us the coping and despair that cancer inevitably brings, and balances it with well-placed banter. We see a distraught Gordon-Levitt seek support from his best friend (Rogen), airy girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), and suffocating mother, and even receive professional help from a young and inexperienced psychologist (Anna Kendrick). Yet despite all this support, a few sobering scenes remind us of the loneliness that comes with his battle: When he receives his diagnosis from a doctor with zero bedside manner and when he has his first round of chemotherapy, to name two.
Pies and Pints would've been the perfect place for Gordon-Levitt to seek comfort. He could've hopped on a bus to its North Seattle location and received a hug in his belly. Its Australian-style pot pies, filled to the brim with combinations like beef and mushrooms simmered in a red-wine sauce, would offer the best type of solace. A side of homemade macaroni, drenched in rich beer-cheese sauce, would surely help chase away the melancholy.