YMMV / 50/50

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Adam's girlfriend, Rachel - horrible manipulative Jerk Ass, or someone who feels genuinely sorry for hurting him, and really does WANT to help, but is just not very honest with herself about how well she can handle the situation. Adding to this is the fact that Adam never told her that he loved her, despite the fact that they were close enough to live together. Selfish as it was, could her cheating on him be a cry for attention from a neglected partner?
    • Another part of the problem is that the relationship was apparently on the rocks even before his diagnosis. For all we know, one or the other or both of them may have been planning to end it before the revelation that he had cancer made her realise how horrible she would be to dump him in the midst of it. Her struggling may have been a desperate attempt to revive a dead relationship that ultimately failed.
    • Note that Rachel begs Adam to take her back after she says her gallery opening failed. That raises the question that she could be the type who only wants the relationship to work when it benefits her. It's entirely open if things were put in perspective for her and she actually was sorry, or she's just latching onto any excuse to make herself feel better.
  • Award Snub:
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance will make you cry, with no Oscar nomination to show for it.
    • The screenplay as well could've gotten in...but it DIDN'T!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Adam's mother is controlling, smothering and possessive to the point that Adam has to wait two days before he can tell her about his diagnosis. She's also fully aware of this, trying to justify her controlling behaviour as simple motherly love. But it's understandable that she's lonely and desperate for affection from someone - given that her husband has Alzheimer's. Katherine sums it up, subtly calling Adam out for this.
    "So she's got a husband who can't talk to her, and a son who won't."
  • Squick: Near the end of the film, Kyle is applying antiobiotic goo to Adam's surgery scar, an enormous crevasse in his flesh. Also, he's applying the goo with his bare finger.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Kyle Slut Shames Rachel out for cheating on Adam while he has cancer...except that he uses Adam's cancer to score sympathy points and sleep with random girls, but this only gets brought up once by Adam and Kyle is forgiven for it, Rachel's treated as irredeemable.
  • Tear Jerker: Several.
    • When Adam hears of Mitch's death, he goes into a deep depression, thinking he won't survive.
    • Adam's breakdown while driving Kyle's car the night before his surgery.
    • The entire scene from when Adam tells his Alzheimer's-ridden father he loves him to when Kyle is standing outside the hospital.
    • The volcano story that Adam had been working on was already broadcast on the news before he could finish it. When you combine that with the cancer and his girlfriend cheating on him, it's not hard to imagine that Adam feels the whole world is pushing him out of existence.
  • The Woobie: Adam, and probably Katie at times with the way he responds to her therapy.