The true story of Chris Gardner who, along with his young son, struggled
with homelessness while on the verge of starting a promising new career.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Directed by Gabriele Muccino
Written by Steve Conrad
Starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton,
Brian Howe, Dan Castellaneta, James Karen, Kurt Fuller
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Will Smith)
The Pursuit of Happyness is a shameless, uplifting almost-melodrama that tugs on the heartstrings by telling the realistic, true story of a man who rose above societal struggles to fulfill his dream. Chris Gardner is not a household name, nor is he a hero or a significant historical figure. What he is is a man who did right by his son and worked hard to give him a better life, or any life at all. This film boasts one of Will Smith's best performances in a story that becomes more relatable by the day. Finding a job, paying the rent, raising a child alone, questioning your every decision. These are problems most of us face every day.
Smith is Chris Gardner, a salesman with a high school education who struggles day by day to support his wife and son. His wife, fed up and selfish, leaves him and his son Christopher (Jaden Smith) to fend for themselves. Chris manages to land in a prestigious internship program with Dean Witter, a brokerage firm. But it's unpaid for six months, and at the end, only one person is selected for a job. Chris loses everything but his sanity as he struggles to get through each day, juggling the internship, his sales job, and being a single dad. His dedication will bring tears to your eyes.
Will Smith is what really sells the movie. His performance is so subtle and heartbreaking that you forget he's the same guy who performed "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It." The Pursuit of Happyness is a good movie to watch whenever you're struggling with a life decision, because it can always be worse. But in those times of adversity, you need something to shoot for. You need a dream.