The Pursuit of Happyness

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The Pursuit of Happyness
Genre: Biographical

Drama

Photography: Phedon Papamichael
Running Time: 117 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: December 15, 2006
Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
Written by: Steven Conrad
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Sony Pictures Releasing

Starring: Will Smith

Thandie Newton

Jaden Smith

Dan Castellaneta

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on entrepreneur Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle being homeless. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will Smith as Gardner, a homeless salesman with Smith's son Jaden Smith co-stars, making his film debut as Gardner's son, Christopher Jr.

Plot

Based on a true story, a struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

Why It Rocks

  1. The movie has a big philosophical statement to make, the literal journey of happiness as Chris is shown running throughout the movie, placing emphasis on 'pursuit'.
  2. Will Smith did a great job as the father trying to protect his son from their circumstances of becoming homeless as much as he can, while at the same time trying to work in the competitive world of stocks as an un-paid intern.
  3. Jaden Smith was outstanding as the preschool-aged kid who knows things are going wrong and tries to have a stiff upper lip, but just can't do it all the time.
  4. The real-life father and son dynamic enriched the film, dynamic and plot-wise.
  5. Many times "inspired by" films feel like hard sells or bids for Oscar glory. "Pursuit of Happiness" is none of that. This is an honest, meaningful film that will stick with you.
  6. Gabriele Muccino ("L'Ultimo Bacio") directed it with style and substance, his fine Italian hand can be detected in Andrea Guerra's score, with its Italianate wistfulness and whimsicality.
  7. The film offers a lot of insight towards character development and explore these themes about patience and success and especially what motivates us and keeps us going. 
  8. The movie accurately captures the struggles of achieving success and 'happyness' while being homeless and a few bucks short.

Bad Qualities

  1. This movie will be politically controversial. First of all, it doesn't touch the race issue with a ten foot pole. For example, when Chris appears to stiff a taxi driver for fare (it was really the rich white guy who failed to pay).
  2. The plot development can be slow.