I must spend some time here praising the movie In Pursuit of Happyness. Quite frankly, I thought I’d rented a different movie (the title escapes me now but it stars Adam Sandler…). You’ll have to excuse my lack of expertise in the field of movie reviewing. I seldom pay attention to the “professionals”. Most times I can find some redeeming quality or qualities in anything that I’ve given up time doing something constructive to watch. (While you’re in excuse mode, please overlook the clumsiness of that last sentence. Thank you.)
Forget that I’ve never been a fan of Will Smith or that I can’t even recall seeing his acting. I’m going to go out on a limb and suppose that when he read the script for this movie, it moved him in such a way that he was transformed into a really good actor, whether or not he was in the past. I’m reminded of Jamie Foxx who played Ray Charles in Ray. I hadn’t been impressed with his acting ability until I watched him portray Mr. Charles. Same reaction here. Same with Brad Pitt. Before I’d seen his acting, I thought he was just another
holy shit what a pretty face. When I saw him act, particularly in 12 Monkeys and then everything he’s ever done, he blew me away.
Will portrayed Chris Gardner, whose real-life story simply needed to be told, in my opinion. I’d not heard of Mr. Gardner until now and after having seen a piece of his life onscreen and interviews with the man himself, I have to add him to my short list of heroes.
This movie has been called inspirational, a true rags-to-riches story but I would label it, above all, a love story. The love of a father for his son is what drove Chris Garner. A lesser man could not have survived the tests and trials. His focus and drive came solely from his desire to provide a safe and comfortable life for his son. As an added bonus, Gardner’s son was played by Will’s real son, Jaden. Here, again, is the trailer for The Pursuit of Happyness. I was glad to have seen it on DVD rather than in the theatre, simply because of the Special Features option which gave me the chance to see Chris Gardner interviewed and interacting with the cast on the set. PD was as impressed as I was.