Becky and I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness on opening day in Highlands Ranch at the AMC movie theaters. The Fandango website at The Pursuit of Happyness describes the movie as follows:
“Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.”
The Pursuit of Happyness was a very good movie, but we didn’t think it was a great film. It’s a very inspiring and also depressing true story that graphically illustrates the challenges that face many American’s today. It’s a touching and personal story that demonstrates that if someone is willing to persevere and push through to succeed they can definitely discover the American Dream, regardless of what life throws at them.
Becky and I had both seen the ABC News 20/20 Special several years ago about the lead character in this movie and how he had gone from being homeless with his son and having to spend several nights in a public restroom, to becoming a multi-millionaire. Apparently, Will Smith had seen the same segment and decided to make the story into a movie, which is what The Pursuit of Happyness is all about.
Where the film falls short is that according to the 20/20 segment the lead character, Chris Gardner, went beyond just becoming a multi-millionaire and actually used his wealth to help other people. The movie made it seem as though if someone goes from living on the street to being financially secure that they will be happy without ever having to give anything back to society or have a spiritual life.
The fact is that there are many miserable millionaires and poor people who make the tragic mistake believing that money is the end all, be all. Just look at the life of former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson as an ongoing tragedy of someone who has had tremendous opportunities. His self-absorption has led to continual self-destruction regardless of his fame and fortune.
The movie is very good, but we, along with several other people we spoke with, thought that the film really missed the opportunity to tell the full story of what makes a person truly happy.
Clearly, going from rags to riches can make a person happier, but I’m sure Chris Gardner would agree that what makes him happy today is not the riches themselves, but what the riches allow him to be able to do to impact the lives of other people.
We both thought that the movie was definitely worth the trip.
John – *** Worth The Trip
Becky – *** Worth The Trip
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