The Pursuit Of Happyness ***1/2

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Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness"

“The Pursuit Of Happyness” is about one father trying to make a better life for him and his son.  During the course of the movie they will move from place to place and eventually become homeless.  Will Smith gives the performance of his career as Chris Gardner, a man who has made some critical mistakes in his life, and is now fighting to repair them.  He does this for his son.  This is the type of movie that you should take your father too, or your mother for that fact.  Anybody who had parents who busted their behinds to try and give you a great life should see this film.

You know when we are young, our minds can’t fully grasp what it is like to support a family.  When I was younger I can remember my dad working 12 hour days.  We would see him before or after work.  I can remember having to wake up some mornings at 5am so we could drive him to work because our family only had one car.  Only when I got older did I realize what kind of toll that took out of him.  He spent time with us no matter how tired he was.  Though he was a little cranky some times, that comes with the territory of working all day then trying to entertain three kids.  Every Christmas our house was littered with gifts for us.  For years my parents scrimped and saved to give us a house and almost everything we wanted.  Now that I have my own kid, some days I barely get to see him.  I can fully understand what my dad used to go through.  So all those times we played catch, or talked about what was going on in my life, they became such crucial points because it comes and goes so fast.  I just hope I can do as good a job as my dad did for my own son.

This is what this movie is about.  Now me and my family were never as low as Chris and his son were.  Living in a shelter, hoping to have enough for dinner the next day.  At some points all they literally had was each other, but that is all they ever needed.  The story starts with Chris and his wife still together, but obviously unhappy.  Chris had gotten them in to one of those sale gigs where you buy all the merchandise then try to sell it yourself.  It didn’t pan out as planned and now the family is on the brink of poverty.  Eventually she leaves, and Chris gets evicted.  At the same time, he manages to talk himself in to an internship at Dean Whitter, a stock broking firm. 

At this point it is safe to say that Will Smith is a major star.  Every movie he touches becomes a block buster.  Even his bad movies like “I, Robot” or “Men In Black II” are monster hits.  This is one of his rare dramatic roles, and he knocks it out of the park.  After the first five minutes I forgot it was Will Smith, and followed him as Chris Gardner.  This is an Oscar worthy performance.

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