The Pursuit of Happyness

posted in Media, personal stuff on February 25th, 2007

I just came back from spending some quality time with a good friend of mine and I somehow had the urge to blog about tonight. We went to see “The Pursuit of Happyness“, a reflection on the life of Christopher Gardner, the guy who didn’t just live the American dream, no, he rewrote it.

The movie tells the story of the struggle and difficulties Gardner, who is portrayed by Will Smith, has to overcome in order to succeed. I must admit, the beginning of the movie was rather … shall we say, uninteresting, it was strange to see Will Smith use bad language, ’cause he barely ever does that and while I’m able to handle bad language, it didn’t seem fitting.

After half an hour though, the story had gotten to me. Smith is a great actor and he has portrayed some great characters, but this one, was, hands down, the best thing I’ve ever seen him do. Now, I’m no big shot movie critic but this movie has all it needs:

Smith and his (real life) son are portrayed in a great array of situations, you can see them having fun together and you can literally read Gardner’s mind, the thoughts that are crossing through it, the problems and challenges he is facing. It’s surreal.

The movie makes you feel bad, just looking at those pictures, the fight Smith has to put up to with in order to reach his final goal, to succeed in getting a job at Dean Witter Reynolds, a stock brokerage firm. The ordeals Gardner went through are … amazing.

Now, the movie portrays the whole internship thing as an unpaid training, while Gardner actually received $1,000 and there are some other things that aren’t told in the same way it happened back in 1981, but still, this movie touched me on a level that no movie ever did until now.

I may not have faced the hardships that Chris Gardner has faced and I may never face them, but his story and most of all, the way he solved the problems he was thrown at inspires me. Gardner doesn’t know the concept of “giving up” and for what it’s worth, he is a better man for that.

If you’re looking to spend a few bucks on a great story, I can more than recommend checking out this movie. No matter if you watch it on a DVD, in a cinema or just grab the book, the story will get to you.

For what it’s worth, this year might only be a couple of weeks old, but I have found my favorite movie of the year already.