Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Pursuit of Happyness |
Actors: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe, James Karen
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Will Smith stars in the inspirational true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman who's struggling to make ends meet. When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise their 5-year-old ... more »
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Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX
Reviewed on 2/19/2010...
Will and Jaden Smith provide excellent performances in this true rags to riches story, which is inspirational and moving. Just as good the second time watching as the first; as the character development is in depth but not tiring. The emotional connection that you get to the characters is powerful and deep. The humor that runs through the story provide a gentle relief to the horrible nature of what they are going through. This movie has an appeal to any audience and I recommend it.
Will Smith's Strong, Urgent Performance Elevates this Realit
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 06/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Pursuit of Happyness" is an unabashed tearjerker about the American Dream and commitment to family in the face of great odds. It was inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, who spent some time in the 1980s homeless while trying to care for his young son and make it through a stockbroker internship. The film is fictionalized but stays true to Gardner's struggle for success and dedication to his son. Gardner's autobiography, which goes by the same title, was actually published after the film was written. In San Francisco, 1981, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) can't make ends meet selling portable bone density scanners, while his embittered wife Linda (Thandie Newton) waitresses 2 shifts a day. Chris spies a man with an enviable sportscar on the street one day and asks him what he does for a living. He's a stockbroker. So Chris decides that's what he'll be. He must be at the top of his class after 6 months in Dean Witter's competitive internship program to be hired. Meanwhile, Chris has no wife, no money, no paying job, and a 5-year old son (Jaden Smith).
A story of hardship and hard work, paternal love and frustration, could easily be too saccharine for words. It's saved from this fate by Chris Gardner's desperation. Behind his indomitable pluck, Gardner is truly desperate. He has no money, no home, uncertain prospects, and the responsibility of providing for a young child. He hides his circumstances from his colleagues. He's spends an inordinate amount of energy chasing errant bone scanners around town. He compromises his ethics. His single-mindedness eventually takes a toll on his son. Chris is struggling for his life. And his financial problems are something the audience can understand and may themselves fear. That's why "The Pursuit of Happyness" works so well. Credit is due Will Smith's Oscar-nominated performance and Italian director Gabriele Muccino's understanding of intense emotions painted with small strokes.
The DVD (Sony 2007): There are 4 featurettes, the song "I Can" by Bebe Winans and Dave Koz (5 min, audio), and a feature commentary. "Making Pursuit: An Italian Take on the American Dream" (17 min) interviews Gabriele Muccino, Will Smith, and the producers about choosing Muccino to direct. Muccino talks about filming in San Francisco and working in English. "Father and Son: On Screen and Off" (7 min) recounts casting Jaden Smith after auditioning hundreds of other children, and Will Smith talks about working with his son. "The Man Behind the Movie: A Conversation with Chris Gardner" (12 min) interviews Gardner about his participation in the film, and Will Smith talks about learning from him. "Inside the Rubik's Cube" (6 min) is a fun short documentary on the persistent popularity of the Cube. There is a nice audio commentary by director Gabriele Muccino, in English. Muccino tells us how he got the job, discusses themes, recreating the 1980s, Will Smith's trust, locations, and some technical details. Subtitles are available for the film in English, French, Spanish. Dubbing available in French."
The best movie of 2006!
Michael Renzulli | Phoenix, Arizona | 07/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The one film that sticks out in my mind as the best movie of 2006 is The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. This movie is based on a book of the same title authored by Chris Gardner.
In the movie, Gardner is a medical product salesman who ends up splitting up with his wife and ends up homeless with his 5 year-old son. Determined to not give up, Gardner endures homelessness and ends up pursuing an internship for a stockbroker position at a major Wall Street investment firm. Despite the trials and tribulations Gardner went through, not only due to the lack of a roof over his head but also the hard work related to his internship and even an IRS seizure of his money to boot, Gardner's endurance and hard work pays off.
The movie, and I am sure the book, is a testament to how anyone can get themselves out of poverty and become wealthy with hard work, persistence and determination. Gardner had an even bigger reason to work hard due to the need for him to provide a good life for his son.
The story of Chris Gardner's going from rags to riches is an inspiration for us all and all of the elements of this film makes for one heckuva great flick!"
Is there a happy ending?
Suvit Singhsachakul | Bangkok, Thailand | 03/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Will Smith takes a departure from his usual daredevilry to star in this most emphatic story about a man trying to make it in the world. Chris Gardner (Smith) has made a bad business decision: He spends his entire life savings on a batch of bone density scanners that he can't sell, and now his family is in deep financial jeopardy. His wife, Linda (Thandie Newton), is forced to work two jobs and his son is placed in a day care facility that looks like a makeshift sweatshop. Chris himself travels from clinic to clinic, trying (but failing miserably) to sell what looks like a giant paperweight.
On one of his daily escapades, Chris finds himself in front of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and has an epiphany that will change his life. He wants to be one of those happy people that seem to pour out the double doors everyday with their smiling faces, shining cars, and jingling pockets. In a last ditch I've-got-nothing-to-lose effort at "happyness", Chris enlists for a non-paying internship at a brokerage firm, armed with only a high school diploma and the ability to solve the Rubik's cube at a mind-boggling speed. However, the hits keep on coming: Chris loses his home, his wife and a few of his colossal paperweights while he and his son brave unbearable odds on the streets of San Francisco.
"The Pursuit of Happyness" will make you laugh, cry and empathize with a character that is executed to three dimensional perfection. Chris is a man who is willing to stake everything to go for a dream that most people would say was far beyond his reach. He is sick of hearing "no" all his life; he is fed up with having no money all the time; and he is tired of being emasculated by his embittered wife everyday. Chris' only source of inspiration is his eight year old son, a mascot egging him on with the simplest of smiles. No obstacle is going to deter him, even if it means sleeping in a public toilet. Will he make it? You have to watch the film!