The Pursuit of HappynessDecember. 14,2006 PG-13
A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.
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Best movie ever!
It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.
This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.
Every time I feel like giving up, I watch this movie and it reminds me that quitting is not an option.
The first time I watched this movie I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I got was not only an amazing movie with great acting, but an inspiring message of how to be resilient in life in order to get what you want. This is by far Will Smith's best performance as an actor, and I'm surprised he hasn't been awarded an Oscar for this movie. I never cry for movies but this popped my cherry, the end is unbelievably satisfying. By far my favourite movie.
A man goes from being unable to support himself and his family to exploiting others to become a multimillionaire. If you read the Declaration of Independence from which "the pursuit of happiness" is quoted, it ends with "to this we pledge our lives, our FORTUNES, and our SACRED HONOR." The Founders who wrote that the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right, gave their fortunes to win it. The end, that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of money, that the cure to unhappiness is unbridled greed, is really sad. These people need therapy. I also found the story inauthentic. A lot of support mechanisms are available to homeless people in NYC. Of course, he used those resources but they left out that part to manipulate the viewer.
Will Smith's sympathetic performance drives this emotional drama inspired by true events. It's an examination of life at its hardest, not succumbing to the hardships we're faced with, and that persevering can unlock that door which only had a glimmer of light behind it to begin with. Oscar-nominated Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a talented, marginally employed salesman who struggles financially to keep his family together. Early on in the film his wife leaves him, but Chris is vigilant in caring for his son - played by real life son Jaden - no matter what. He persists every day to make ends meet, getting an internship at a stock brokerage firm, and putting every ounce of strength into shielding his son from the dire circumstances he's forced into. It's that distant, unlikely dream, driving him forward every day, and the result is an emotionally resonant drama with some serious moments, and a few light-hearted ones comedic scenes, with many unlucky moments befalling our protagonist. Strongly acted and well written, the film is entertaining from beginning to end... to a fault. It can feel a bit tonally uneven given the events taking place, with the comedy defusing an otherwise depressing scene and slightly undermining the films attempt to emotionally engage fully, because it could have been a masterpiece of raw emotion had it chose a harsher path without detraction of humour. But The Pursuit of Happiness, by the end, earns your happy tears whilst sending a clear and deliberate message about aiming for life's ever elusive dream of a happiness, and the ability to succeed, something that should resonate amongst us all; those who are currently in a plight, and those who've risen against it, fought it, and won. 8/10