Release Date: December 15th, 2006 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some language.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
JJ Rating: B+
The Pursuit of Happyness is about Chris Gardner who is bright man who had a situation of economic hardship befall him. His wife leaves him. The home he has is no longer his because he can’t make rent. He tries to provide for his son with selling something he had thought would be a worthy investment months earlier. He took a chance at being an intern at a well known stockbrokerage firm and even though it did not pay he stuck with it while at the same time fighting to give his son as good a life as he could give.
First I’d like to state that Chris Gardner is a remarkable man. I know lots of people but I do not know near as many as I would hope that would have the gall and the strength and the drive to pursue a course in which Chris did. He is one unique man. I could see myself doing possibly one of the things he did but everything else almost seems super human and outstanding. He may have done what he had to do but what he decided to do is not what many could pull off.
Will Smith gave that story life through his awesome inspirational acting. I would have to say he had to have made Chris Gardner proud for he made him beam on that screen. He took someone’s life that was ignored by many as just a life and made it something to look at and admire. Smith did his job and more so when it came to this role.
His son Jaden Smith played Christopher Chris’s son and he too did a very good job. This is his first acting job and he did a very well at being the child who was dragged around everywhere from a warm house, to the bathroom in the subway, to the street and then to shelters. His hair was poofy and I was thinking how I wish I had hair like that so I could walk around with all that poof on my head. I was jealous. Ha.
I enjoyed the jokes that Christopher told as they would walk on the street. They were simple and to the point and funny. Those are the best kinds of jokes. The movie is awe-inspiring not only viewing the father but the child. The child was taken all over the place and rarely was there a brat moment by him. Of course I’m sure there were a few but the experience was not riddle with them. Today it would seem Child Protective Service would have tried to take the child. The child was not mistreated to himself. He was well cared for in the situation so much so when he grew up Christopher stated he did not remember that time period very well.
The power of love was in that movie. The child’s love and the father’s love were very evident. One of the best scenes they show is also in the trailer where they are at the basketball court and Chris tells Christopher, “Don’t let anyone say you can’t do anything….not even me.” People want to put people down until they can’t move and it’s not even physical it’s a mental handicap that they inflict. In this world you have to have that great power of the mind to win out or else you’ll be taken over. Chris Gardner had such a mind that would not give in to the pressures of the world or even his own.
It was a good feel good movie that keeps you watching without pushing the sunshine down your throat. I saw how he tried and tried to get things right and things just kept falling down around him until one day they just clicked. When the ending came it was a great ending and simply done with a few jokes from the son. But what made the ending good was that it was a grin-ding: an ending that has you grinning. In The Pursuit of Happyness one will actually smile and feel good. That’s a movie to share during the dreadful holidays.