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Review: The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness
12.15.2006
6 10

A struggling door-to-door salesman who is trying to support his family and make the rent has his life turned upside-down when his wife abandons him and his son. He desperately tries to make ends meet but inevitably he begins to feel the financial pressures of life and hits rock bottom. In an attempt to change the course of his and his sonís life, he signs up for an unpaid internship at a high profile stock brokerage firm, while trying to make enough money to support his child.

This was an alright father-son movie. I was expecting it to be Niagara Falls in the theatre with a lot of sniffing and eye wiping, but it wasn't. I thought the movie came off a little slow and in the beginning I didn't care too much for Will Smith's character. Working in sales, I know it can be very, very difficult, especially if youíre only paid through commission, but thatís what I didn't understand about the character. In the beginning, if he was struggling so hard with money, why not get a part-time job just to help with the bills? When your family is on the line, all dreams and ambitions are on hold man...until you pay for food and rent first.

That said, Smith did a fine job playing Chris Gardner. He was smart and very likeable. You wanted this guy to succeed and you knew he was going to; it was just a matter of how many curve balls a man can get thrown at him before he can hit one out of the park. The first half of the movie I was like "Let's move things along here". I realize it was to establish who the character was, but it was only during the last half that I was rooting for him.

Jaden Christopher Syre Smith was a pleasant surprise as Gardnerís son named Christopher. Considering he's Smith's real son outside of the film, it is clear that the acting seed doesn't fall far from the tree. I think this kid is going to have a nice long career in Hollywood. Their chemistry was excellent, which I would expect if Smith is as close to his son/family as he says in interviews. I liked how Smithís character would try to protect his son from the homeless environment that was encroaching around them while his son kept this positive attitude even though he was aware of their situation (kids are so damn smart, nothing gets past them!).

It was just a little to slow at the beginning and I was hoping for a little more humor from Smith, at least when he was with his son. It wasn't an emotional roller coaster, but more of a bummer for the most part. How much can one guy take? The director Gabriele Muccino showed us that no matter how capable or smart someone is, we're all open to be dealt a bad set of cards and I think that is what I liked most about this film. Life is full of disappointments (big or small) and I guess we should live for the little triumphs or moments of true happiness.

PURSUIT is a father-son movie, but I wouldn't take my kid to go see it. Not because it's bad or its content, but because it's not a family movie. There were touching moments and I think parents will probably relate more to the struggles of life that was explored in the story.

All The King's Men (4/10)
Babel (4/10)
Borat (9/10)
Crank (8/10)
Deja Vu (6/10)
Flags of our Fathers (6/10)
Flushed Away (4/10)
Grudge 2 (5/10)
Harsh Times (7/10)
Jackass2 (8/10)
Last King of Scotland (6/10)
Stranger Than Fiction (7/10)
The Departed (9/10)
The Guardian (6/10)
The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (6/10)
The Prestige (8/10)
The Fountain (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

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Source: JoBlo.com

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