PG13 117min 2006
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a film based on the daunting life of Christopher Gardner. In 1981, Christopher Gardner is a struggling salesman of portable bone density scanners while his wife works double shift to help support their family that includes 5 year Christopher. When their desperation reaches the boiling point, Chris has the inspiration to try a competitive stockbroker internship, where only one in twenty go on to have a career in the field. When his wife leaves, Chris is determined to keep his son with him, and the stresses and struggles of homeless, jail time, and tax seizures, see Gardner come out on the other side a respected millionaire.
This film is heartbreaking, inspirational and a true American success story. Although most of the things in this film really happen they did take liberties with Christopher Gardner’s story and those liberties almost pushes this film too dramatic. I still feel that it showed one mans pursuit of life, liberty and happiness that can inspire even the most cynical person on the planet.
One of the shinning points of this film and what makes “The Pursuit of Happyness” work is Jaden’s delivery of his lines. It’s his delivery that Will reacts to and their natural relationship shines through the words. Will Smith and his son Jaden, show the subtle beats that come from a functional relationship rarely seen between father and son. It’s those beats that are found naturally in the relationship that Will and jaden have in real life. Its these intangibles that would not have been there if they weren’t father and son; this is what makes this film so powerful and moving.
Watch it with tissue handy because it’s a tearjerker. It’s almost maddening to see a decent man struggle this hard to provide for his family but a welcomed relief when he succeeds. Christopher Gardner’s tale is one that you can find strength in when you’re at a low point. What Will portrays in this film is a reflection of the real Chris Gardner. You can tell from the way he walks by in his cameo at the end of the film.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a film that should not be missed. It’s a great addition to your movie collection or a great gift to anyone. It has strong performances by Will and Jaden Smith. It will inspires and move the viewer to tears.
I give it a 5/5 Gs.