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I think this film is really wonderful - one of my favourites! The story centres around a man named Chris, who is struggling to succeed in a modern capitalist society (America), but is really trying his best to look after himself, his wife and their son (who is named Christopher). When Chris's wife leaves him, he is left looking after his son, with very little income. Throughout the film the Dad is referred to as 'Chris', and his son 'Christopher', in order to differentiate between the two characters. Chris is played by Will Smith. I believe that Will Smith does a truly brilliant job of playing Chris in this film. His portrayal is clever, nuanced, and very believable. I was surprised at how well he plays this character as previously I have only associated Will Smith with his parts in more frivolous films like 'Men in Black'. Look out for the scene in the Subway Toilet - the best scene in the film, in my opinion! This film is based upon a true story. There is a message on screen at the end of the film that informs you of this. The Pursuit of Happyness is a film that is well worth a watch! It is very sad, and could be quite upsetting in parts, although it has a wonderful and uplifting ending. I find this film very inspiring, particularly because it is based on a true story.
The Pursuit of Happyness is a film based on the true life story of Chris Gardner. The film has a running time of 153 mins and has a 12 Certificate. Cast members include super star Will Smith, son Jaden Smith and Thandie Newton. Gabriele Muccino directs. Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a salesman in San Francisco. He's struggling to sell medical scanners which he has invested his life savings in, and is now struggling to make ends meet. After one too many arguements usually about their lack of money, Chris' girlfriend (Newton) walks out on him and their son (Jaden Smith). She heads to New York where she has a job lined up leaving Chris to raise their son himself. Spotting a Wall Street Stockbroker exiting his flash car, Chris hears of an internship in a Stockbroker training program. This is a highly competitive program. With some pure determination and some impressive rubik's cube skills Chris lands himself the chance to take part. However the internship is unpaid and only 1 out of 20 interns make the cut and land a job at the end of it. With no salary coming in and his scanners not shifting, Chris decides to take the internship in the hope that he will be able to improve his future for himself and his son. After weeks of dodging rent, Chris and his son are evicted from their home. They move on to a cheap motel, but are soon unable to make rent even there. They are forced to sleep wherever they can including homeless shelters and one heartbreaking night in a metro station bathroom. From then on Chris struggles to impress at work, make it out on time to pick up his son from daycare and get in line to get a bed at the shelter. All the while doing his best to keep his circumstances from his work colleges. Also trying to fit in the time to sell the remainder of the scanners. Will he make the cut? The film ends with a small note to let us know what Chris Gardner went on to do in real life. Verdict- I loved this film. Although may people know the story of Chris Gardner and how the story ends, I still feel this is a must see. It had me crying my eyes out, even the 2nd and 3rd time I watched it. There are many heartbreaking scenes that are just done so wonderfully. Like the scene where they have to spend the night in a metro station bathroom. It all begins as a game, yet once his son is sleeping we see Chris cry. It is so hard to see a man trying to do his best for himself and child yet struggle so much. The father/son relationship is fantastic and so clear from the start. Its central to the whole story and is expertly portrayed by actors Will and Jaden. This may be down to their real life father/son relationship, but it comes across so beautifully on screen. The film has such a strong message of hope, no matter how bleak things get Chris just keeps on trying. People always say to get to the top you have got to start at the bottom and work your way up, it has never felt more true than after you have watched this film. It really makes the viewer think about what is really important. A roof over your head, your childs favourite toy or special moments together are all so much more important than flash things. Makes those of us who are in a better situation realise how lucky we really are. Furthermore the economic situation of the last few years means that many people will be able to relate. There are also a few funny moments, so you won't be crying the whole way through. The dvd also comes with some great special features including , Father and Son on screen and off and a conversation with the real life Chris Gardner. A fantastic watch for all.
The Pursuit of Happyness is a beautiful film about making your life better through hard work and determination, based on the true story of Christopher Gardner, he is a man who has invested his families life savings in 'Bone Density Scanners', medical devices, he is convinced he can sell to hospitals as they are the future of medicine. Unfortunately nobody else is convinced by them and without a solid income, his wife leaves him and his son, and he loses his home, his car and his possessions. Whilst his life is collapsing around him, he walks past a stockbrokers and notices how happy (and well off) everyone is, he visits the stockbrokers and through determination, some luck and sheer bloodymindedness, he manages to get himself on the companies intern programme, this gives 20 interns the opportunity of 1 job, through working their backsides off selling share programmes to well off individuals and companies over 6 months, the only catch is that he won't be paid. For the next 6 months Christopher, must work the intern programme putting his everything into it, whilst caring for his son, selling the scanners and finding money for food, childcare and accommodation, things are never as easy as they seem though, and prison, down and out shelters and nights in metro toilets await for Christopher and his son, but can they against the odds rise up and gain the one stockbroker job available at the end of this MASSIVE gamble? Cast: Will Smith ... Chris Gardner Jaden Smith ... Christopher Thandie Newton ... Linda Brian Howe ... Jay Twistle James Karen ... Martin Frohm Dan Castellaneta ... Alan Frakesh Kurt Fuller ... Walter Ribbon Takayo Fischer ... Mrs. Chu Kevin West ... World's Greatest Dad George Cheung ... Chinese Maintenance Worker David Michael Silverman ... Doctor at First Hospital Domenic Bove ... Tim Ribbon My View: This is about aspirations and also about how easy it is to go from relative security to the streets, it is inspirational in parts and has you stressed as hell in others. The story could come straight from a self-help book and no doubt the subject has written such a book for this film to be made, but it somehow worked for me, I was gripped from the first moment to the end, I hoped I knew how it would end and had invested enough emotional attachment to Will Smith and his son Jayden as the Gardner's that it was important that this man with strong moral codes and direction for his son achieved his dream, to find happiness. In some ways the moral of finding happiness through money is wrong, but I think it is more about security and being able to give your child a good life and find something you enjoy and can be rewarded for. The story isn't without glitches, as Chris Gardner is working his internship he loses two of his scanners separately to thieves, however through chance and coincidence gains them both back, it was far fetched and if it did happen, I guess the world is a strange place, but nonetheless this didn't ring true. Also the stockbrokers were all painted as kind and moral men, in the higher positions and I don't want to judge but part of me felt this was slightly sanitised. Nonetheless this had little effect on my enjoyment of the film. The story could have been fleshed out more, why had Gardner been in the Navy, also from researching this afterwards, his step father abused him and step mother tried to burn their house down, perhaps these tribulations could have been brought into the story more, but Will Smith does a good job as Gardner, he isn't a wise cracking smart arse for most of the film and shows real gravity and power in many scenes, he is restrained and determined and you grow weary for him of his struggles, his real son Jayden is excellent as his son Christopher, the right mix of excited to be with his dad and terrified of what disaster will befall them next, he is the spirit and heart that keeps Gardner going and their scenes are obviously very natural due to their real bond. In parts the film reminded me of the Italian film, Life is Sweet especially in scenes where Chris creates imaginary scenarios to make the idea of hiding overnight in metro toilets seem like an adventure rather than a squalid experience. There are a few smart touches in the film, the real Chris Gardner makes an appearance and as Chris' boss, Dan Castanella requests a doughnut from Smith at one point (in homage to his animated fame as Homer Simpson). The film has uplifting moments and I found it oddly motivating, if somebody can work that hard to achieve their dreams then surely I can work a little harder to achieve mine. Watch it with an open mind and open heart and you will find this honest, spirited little film uplifting....eventually!!! Best Character - I really rated Smith as Chris Gardner, he keeps his natural performing instincts in check and you really believe in him, his determination and the dynamic between him and his son. Best Line: Stockbroking Boss: What would you say if man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say? Christopher Gardner: He must have had on some really nice pants. The DVD is available on Amazon for £3.99 and the book is available for £5.99, I would suggest that his kind of film should appeal to many Dooyooers and anyone with aspirations to improve their lives.
The Pursuit of the American Dream Background The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 film starring Will Smith and Thandie Newton and directed by Gabriele Muccino and sees Smith in another serious role for which he was deservedly nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Muccino is an Italian, here directing his first American film. Plot The film is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. Set in 1981 in San Francisco, Gardner is a medical salesman struggling to make ends meet with his partner (Newton) working hard and both of them raising their five year old son. After seeing a man in a Ferrari and asking him his job, Gardner sets his sights on becoming a stockbroker to earn enough money to keep his family. Newton then leaves him and tries to take his son while Gardner ends up in jail for unpaid parking tickets on the day of his interview with a firm of stockbrokers for an internship. After winning the trust of one of the staff by completing their Rubik's Cube he gets the position despite turning up to interview covered in paint and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Gardner then tries to look after his son, do his internship and sell medical equipment to pay his rent. They both end up homeless, one night spending a night in a public toilet. But Gardner manages to make enough to win the only job that comes with this internship, and no doubt they live happily ever after. Acting The acting is superb, Will Smith has a curious sadness about him and has the necessary frustration and determination that this role needed. Newton brings off the role of the rough, embittered spouse. She only appears in the first half of the film. Opinion This is the worst of Hollywood! Although they try to portray Gardner as merely trying to provide for his son, the subplot is much more subtle. The incident with the Ferrari alerts us to the point that his motives were not entirely pure, instead this is about gaining money and prestige. The typical Hollywood philosophy comes through loud and clear in Gardner's words to his son, 'Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something, not even me.' This is patently untrue but is the theme of the film. The real story of Chris Gardner is more sinister than that portrayed, rife with adultery and accusations of domestic violence. I can understand Muccino leaving this out but if he's going to play with the storyline then why not make it better? In the end this is 100minutes of excruciatingly awkward, mawkishness where everything goes wrong followed by 5 minutes of 'Oh, you've got the job.' The end. It was predictable, both in plot and emotion, and merely ended up being insipid. It was not a dull film, but neither was it inspiring; merely difficult to watch and bought into the usual Hollywood philosophy of, 'No matter who you are, you can do whatever you want so go and make lots of money.' You can probably tell that this film made me angry. I would not recommend it. But I can also see from other reviews that I am very much in the minority. Such is life!
The Pursuit of Happyness is a heart warming true story about the life of Chris Gardner played by Will Smith. The main Cast: Will Smith as Chris Gardner Jayden Smith (Will's acutal son) plays Christopher (Chris Gardners son) Thandie Newton as Linda, the mother that leaves fairly early Brian Howe as Jay Twistle. The plot of the story is set in chapters with Will/CG narrating parts of the film. Chris Gardner is a salesman stuggling to make ends meet after investing all of his and his wifes money in a load of 'Bone Density Scanner' which seemed like a great investment at the time. But as time goes on he finds it harder and harder to sell the devices. This was due to Doctors and hostpitals seeing them as an unneeded luxury. CG soon finds himself looking to take an unpaid internship at Dean Whitter stock brokage, with low morale at home Linda decides to leave to start a new life in New York on her own. Struggling to sell the scanners Chris soon finds himself homeless, without a bank account and left with just the money in his pocket. Needless to say, Chris Finally got his job at the Dean Whitter and eventually becomes a millionaire (although we dont get to see the millionaire part of the film). This film is a must see. The dvd offers many features like deleted scenes and an interview with the real Chris Gardner. The film runs for 117 minutes and gives the real chris Gardner a cameo apperence at the end of the film, walking past Will and Jayden. The dvd seems to be very good value at around £3 to £5 in most places. 5 stars
***The Pursuit of Happyness*** ***Plot*** The film is set in 1981 in San Francisco and follows the life of Chris Gardner (Will Smith) and his family. He is a struggling salesman who continually hopes for better things. With the support of his wife he invests heavily in a 'Bone Density scanner' with hopes that this will turn their fortunes around. However, they are not as easy to sell as Chris first thought, it appears they are much more expensive than current technology, but can only do the job slightly better than what is already in existence. Both Chris and his wife struggle to meet the bills and juggle childcare and one day, it all becomes too much for his wife. Just as Chris begins to talk about making a career change and taking an internship as a stockbroker (for no pay), his wife decides to walk out as she cannot take the strain anymore, nor support Chris with this new plan of action., Chris wants his son to stay with him and his wife reluctantly agrees - at first she stays close by, but then gets the offer of a job in New York and so leaves. The film follows the struggle of Chris and his son, as he tries to look after him, whilst trying to secure a permanent position from a blue chip company. ***Opinion*** One of the main things that appealed to me was that this film is based upon a true story and I have to say that because of this, when things get tough for Chris and his son, it just pulls on the heart strings more and more. The film perfectly captures the feel of 'greedy' aggressive business and the cut throat environment of the eighties. The Rubik Cube even made an appearance. Whilst it is a touching story, I didn't find it becoming too sentimental and I could identify with Chris as he struggled to succeed. At times just as you felt a glimmer of hope this was snatched away and Will Smith perfectly captured the role of a desperate father trying to do the best for his son. I enjoy seeing Will Smith in roles such as this and Seven Pounds and think he can play these more demanding roles quite well. Some of the best moments were when he turned up for an interview messy from painting and still managed to charm his way through the interview. Other touching moments are when things go badly wrong for Chris and it brings the plight of the homeless to the forefront. I believe that actual homeless people where paid as extras for this film and it was the most money they had earned in years. The film brought home to you just how desperate some people are when they are down to the last £5 in their wallet and have nowhere to live - it really did have a humbling effect. Will Smith's real son Jaden Smith was fantasic as his son and I felt that he often managed to steal the limelight - no sickly American kid here - he was a true pro and I can see he will have a great future as an actor. I can't remember too much of the music except to say that it highlighted all the sad moments perfectly, but was also uplifting at the right time too. Thandie Newton played Chris's wife and it was a real change to see her play this type of role instead of the glamorous agent in Mission Impossible. I felt sorry for her too, when she was working long shifts and yet her husband still wanted to pursue a career that meant working for nothing. Oh and there is a nice touch at the end, when the real Chris Gardner makes a cameo appearance, walking past Chris and his son. All in all a nice movie for a Sunday afternoon, which might make you cry (I didn't - must be getting tough), but will leave up feeling uplifted. ***Availability*** The film is available from Amazon for £3.99 which is a good price I think.
The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith and his real life son Jaden Smith is the story of a man who's wife leaves him and his son. As he struggles to make enough money to pay the rent he and his son end up homeless living in public toilets and shelters. one day he applies for a job in a stockbroker training programme where only 1 of 20 applicants will be given a job at the end of their training. This film is based on the true story of a San Fransisco sales man Chris Garner and tells of his struggle to protect his son and his battle to make their lives better. Released in 2007 this film earned Will Smith a nomination for Best Actor Academy award and the connection between himself and his son Jaden makes this film even more believeable and emotional. The connection between them make the relationship between the two charactors more powerful and makes this film so good it's hard to believe parents have to go through situations such as these just to make their childrens lives better. Rated 12 this film does contains some strong language but it is a film that could be enjoyed by all the family.
Will Smith gets better with every film he does! This is a warm story about a man that truly wants to believe in himself and follow his dreams. Real life we all want to be something, and having dreams keeps us going. Chris Gardner (Will Smith) and his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) live in a apartment in San Francisco with there only son Christopher (played by Will Smith's real life son Jaden) . Chris is a salesman and not a bad one his just selling something pretty crap that he made a choice to buy to make a living. It didn't quite work out that way as he didn't sell any for months. His wife got fed up and left him and their son. He then can't pay the rent and get's chucked out. Him and his son are living in public toilets, shelter's where ever he can find that night to sleep. He then bumps into a man with a flash car and asks what he doe's "stock broker" he replied. If you want something you have to believe in it!! He then lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage after hard unpaid 6 months he gets the job. This film is one hour and fifty seven minutes and will need a box of tissues! I loved this film it really inspired me.
Brilliant movie and what a performance from the talented Will Smith. This is a a heart warming true story about one mans fight for a better future for him and his family. It makes you want to follow your dreams and be a better person. Will Smith play Chris Gardner, a sales person that is trying to support his family but is struggling to makes ends meet. When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out he is left to look after his son Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own. His determination finally lands him an opportunity in unpaid internship it the cut throat stock broking program. The two find themselves on the bread line, evicted from their apartment and living a life of poverty and overcoming obstacles to pursuit a dream for a better future. This is a brilliant true story and you are immediately immersed into a movie that will have your emotions on red alert. Will smith puts in and award winning performance in his portrayal of Chris Gadner. If ever there was a role to define Will Smith as a serious actor, it would definitely be this one. Will smith proofs that he can do more than just comedy and I'd like to see him more in these type of roles. Let us not forget the fine performance from Chris (Jaden Smith), you can't help but fall in love with this cute kid. You will walk away from this film with a warm feeling in your heart at a glow in your belly. It kind of makes you feel the way you do at the end of a Rocky movie. you know, anything is possible and you feel like you can take on the world.
You must be thinking by now how strange my film choices are given the vast range of genre's I have reviewed but I do love practically everything! When I saw this one for the first time, I wasn't too sure. I had to see it again to make my mind up and then I loved it! It's based on a true story about a guy, who's girlfriend eventually leaves him and their son behind, and he tries desperately to make money...any amount of money, to feed his son, himself and make a living. I would class this film as a comedy drama movie as there are subtle humorous moments sprinkled throughout the film. Will Smith's real life son plays the part of Christopher, his on-screen son! I don't think this film will appeal to everyone but by the time the end credits started rolling, it left me feeling inspired! It's tough enough to make me feel much for a lot of films but this achieved it. You really feel for Chris Gardner (Will Smith) because of the difficulties he faces in trying to achieve his goal of becoming a stockbroker. He has his x-ray machine stolen (don't ask), someone leaves him to pay for a running cab meter, him and his son get thrown out of their apartment etc. There are so many challenges this character faces and overcomes, which heavily contributes toward the salvation the character, and us, feel at the end. Do I recommend this? Yes, it's a great film but not for typical reasons. Will Smith's acting really shines here in one of, in my opinion, his best performances. Jayden Smith, his son, isn't half bad either. The dialogue is good, script is great, direction is solid. Watch this one for a different experience!
Having seen The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Hitch, and the other sci-fi movies starring Will Smith, I was quite unprepared for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness. It was simply Smith like I'd never seen him before. A far cry from his action-man, or hilarious carefree personages that he usually depicts on screen, The Pursuit of Happyness instead shows a new maturity, and dimension to the actor. The story itself is moving and extremely emotional and there are scenes that really got me crying. Knowing that it is actually based off a true inspirational story only heightened the sentimental aspect of the film. Plot: Chris Gardner invests all his family savings in a new business. But when all he gains in return are losses and debts, his wife walks out on him and their son Christopher. Without shelter, wife, or money, Chris remains the sole caregiver for his son and tries to make the best out of their pitiful situation- even if it takes to sleeping in subway restrooms at night. How will they get out of poverty and homelessness? I used to like movies with strong doses of escapism but lately, I've developed a fondness for deeply realistic films. This film is as realistic as it can get. Apparently, real homeless people were paid to depict the homeless persons in the movie. While it is not overly brutal on the honesty scale, I still have to say that this film got me thinking about the darker sides of life, about dreams, aspirations and perseverance. While I will not give the ending away, I will say that the ending can be deemed as an emotional upheaval in terms of typing up all the loose ends. I really loved the manner in which Smith handled the role of the single father. There are some heartbreaking scenes where you can see the conflicting emotions etched all over his face- he is desperate but has to keep up a happy façade for his son. I really believe there was quite a profound depth of character to his personality. It is of my personal opinion that this is one of his best performances so far, the manner in which he had to play both the role of a father and of a citizen trying to make his way up the ladder was just amazing. I don't know much about business, but my friends who do told me that they greatly appreciated the business side of the story. What I liked, though, was how the main character was shown to be thrust into a world where he seemed to have no particular talents but just needed a job to get out of the streets. And like the title suggest, Christopher had this one particular dream in the movie and the whole message that he passes on to his son was to keep on following his dream. Again, I was left stunned by the performance of Will Smith during this particular bit, he seemed so wise, so mature and he really has strong on-screen personality and didn't fail to captivate me. The actor's real-life son, Jaden Smith portrayed little Christopher in the movie. I think he also delivered quite a fine performance for a small child. There was quite strong chemistry between father and son and maybe it had to do with the fact they really were related in real life. I think that the addition of a child to the whole concept of the film was wonderful as it helped into contrasting the blissful innocence of childhood to the harsh, more cruel world that really exists. Main Cast: * Will Smith * Jaden Smith * Thandie Newton * Brian Howe * James Karen * Dan Castellaneta DVD extras: Commentary track Overall, this is a highly recommended movie about dreams, hope, aspirations and finding the strength within oneself to achieve something in life. Thanks for reading!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 this sentence forms part of the United States Declaration of Independence and us refereed to in the excellent film staring Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness. Set in the beautiful city of San Francisco in the early 1980's it follows the true story of struggling salesman Chris Gardner. They show quite a lot of San Fran which is really nice to see as I think it's a great city. We see Chris and his young son Chris walking up and down the steep streets and also there is a beautiful scene if them on the beach with the Golden Gate bridge in the background. I found this film to be very moving and I think it really portrayed just how much if a struggle life is for some people. Chris and his family are right on the bread line and it's amazing how he seems to juggle his last remaining pennies. At one point he has to resort to sleeping in a public toilet for the night. I think it just goes to prove that no matter what your circumstances, if you put your mind to something you can achieve anything! It's a really interesting story which kept me entertained from beginning to end and I think the fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more entertaining and captivating. Chris sells bone density medical machines but sales have not been good. There were actually funny parts in this film too, mainly including his hapless luck with said medical machines. Chris runs into a very successful man and asks him how he made his money and when he fins out he is a stockbroker Chris makes up his mind there and then to become a stockbroker even if this means a very competitive internship where he does not get paid. I really liked Will Smith in this movie. He has shown us he can definitely done comedy and action in his other movies but now I think he has shown us he can do drama too. To me though the star of this movie was the little boy who played his son Chris who is actually his son in real life too, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith. Firstly it helps that he is incredibly cute. Secondly even though he was acting a part I thought the character was so patient and trusting as a little boy and did an incredible job of putting up with moving all the time, living in hostels and sleeping in toilets and not really complaining! He had such love and respect for his father and trust that his father would make everything ok in the end and was also just happy to be with him. They really had a lovely on screen relationship and I can this being true of real life also which I think is great. The DVD came out in 2006 and is rated 12. It lasts for approximately 1 hour and 53 minutes. Extras on the dvd include an interview with the real Chris Gardner, the directors commentary and a piece on the Rubik's cube which you will understand once you have watched the film. I loved it and would recommend it to anybody.
This film tells the story of Chris Gardener and shows how determination can completely change your life. This is based on the true story of Chris Gardener. In the film Chris Gardener (Will Smith) is failing salesman trying to sell products of the company he spent his life savings to buy into. After his wife (Thandie Newton) decides to leave Chris and their son Christopher, they fall on hard times and become homeless. Now Chris must fight his way through a very competitive internship to get a job and turn their lives around. This movie is a continuous up and down of moods. This film will have you laughing and crying as it runs through its crazy turns of emotion. The film is very long and does seem to drag out a bit at times, but everything in this movie is necessary to understand exactly what it might be like in that situation. I think the film shows what losing everything would be like in a very effective and sympathetic way, and shows a week in the life of a homeless person very well. I love this film, everytime I watch it I seem to enjoy it more and more! You do have to be in the right mood to watch it though as it is very long and very serious, but amazing none-the-less.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room The Pursuit of Happyness is based on the best-selling memoir written by Chris Gardner, a man who had nothing and then managed to miraculously turn it around for the sake of his young son. Although it has "Oscar bait" written all over it, it is a genuinely affecting film that only rarely steps too far into sentimental territory, yet thanks to two heart-warming performances from Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden, this mostly stays on the side of earnestness and has undeniably good intentions. Gardner is a salesman who invests his entire family's money in new x-ray machines that turn out to be duds, and so he leaves himself and his family broke. His wife, Linda (Thandie Newton) leaves him and his son to fend for themselves, causing them to have to move out and therefore live on the street temporarily. This film depicts that struggle, as well as Chris's eventual rise to become a stockbroker, and get his son and himself out of their troubles. Smith buoys the film, and one particularly touching scene sees him telling his son, while they are preparing to sleep in a train station toilet, to imagine that there are dinosaurs everywhere in order for him to drift off to sleep. The chemistry here is what undeniably makes the film work, and both Smiths pull off impressive turns. A very sweet, if predictable tale, yet it's hard to deny that Jaden Smith may be one of the least annoying child actors around, and his chemistry with his father really permeates through this film. Will shines as usual (and recieved an Oscar nomination for his performance), again reaffirming that he is an incredibly versatile actor, and probably deserves a lot more credit than he ever really gets.
I did not enjoy Seven Pounds which is a film that has Will Smith seeking out more straight dramatic roles and given that this film is in a similar vein I was uncertain that I would like it but it was quite an emotional and moving story that apparently is based upon a real life story. In the film Smith plays Christopher Gardiner an unsuccessful salesman who is the father to a five year old son and whose wife walks out on the pair ( she is played by Thandie Newton) as she is frustrated with her life style and the fact that they are always struggling to make ends meet and being threatened with their home being repossesed. Faced with bringing up his sonon his own he is forced to re-evaluate his lfe and make the necessary changes to turn his life around and make a success of himself and this is the story of a rags to riches journey. The father son relationship in this film is pivotel and the two demonstrate the bond they have for each other in front of the camera to great effect. It is an intense performance from Smith and he is abley supported by young Jaden Smith who looks like he could well have a similar career as pops ahead of him while Thandie Newton also turns in an impressive performance. At times this is an inspiring feel good film and while the ending was a little too mushy for my tastes it still works well overall and as such it is well worth a viewing.
A heartwarming film that demonstrates how good, hard-working people can become homeless almost overnight, Pursuit of Happyness is a tour-de-force showcase for Will Smith, who convincingly portrays a down-and-out dad trying to better his family's life. Smith, who usually is cast in effortlessly boyish roles (Men in Black, Independence Day), is wonderful in the film--even in the scenes that shamelessly tug at viewers' heartstrings. Based on the true-life story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman forced at times to shelter his young son (played by Smith's adorable look-alike offspring Jaden Smith) in a men's room, there is little suspense to the film in terms of Chris' outcome. (His story and eventual success a successful and wealthy Chicago businessman was well-publicized on the newsmagazine show 20/20.) And let's face it, Hollywood's not too keen on making feel-good movies with unhappy endings. The beauty (and suspense, to a certain extent) of this film is in the way the story is told. Though he is constantly rushing around to get to appointments and pick up his child, things do not happen quickly for Chris. When he accepts an internship with a prestigious stock brokerage firm, there's a catch: The position is unpaid, suitable more for trust-fund children than single parents with no other source of income. In many scenes, the viewer panics along with Chris, wondering how he's going to feed his child. While Smith and his son, Jaden, share many tender moments together, Thandie Newton has the thankless role of playing Chris' shrill wife, who deserts her family early in the film. It's not a particularly challenging part for the talented actress, and her departure doesn't impact the storyline much at all. As for the movie's misspelled title, it's inspired from a scene in the film. (Seeing a mural drawn by the children at a daycare center, Chris points out to the proprietor that "happiness" is spelled incorrectly. She notes that it doesn't matter how the word is written--just that the kids have it.) With Pursuit of Happyness, Smith has come out of his safety zone and, in turn, ends up playing his most heroic role to date. --Jae-Ha Kim