The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Monday, December 18, 2006

Review: Pursuit of Happyness

So Saturday after we delivered and laid out the poinsettias at the church, I went and saw a couple movies, mainly because I needed some down time and veg out time from some stuff that is weighing on my mind.

The first film I saw was “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith. The basic premise of the film is a true story about Charles Gardner and his son as they struggle through poverty and homelessness while the father is engaged in an unpaid internship to become a stock broker. It is a very moving story and I thought the film was well done. It is set in the early 1980s and the film does a remarkable job of conveying the sense of poverty and hardship that existed in that era, especially among the working poor.

What I Liked About It:

The story telling is unconventional is some ways. While formulaic, there are some turns and moves that surprised me. I also think that the reality of the film makes it painful to watch. A lot of these kinds of genre films have a pace where the main character is pushed around, struggles, wins some small victory, and repeats at the climatic end. For the most part, this story’s pay-off is at the end and I will say the end of the movie is a tearjerker. (I cry at movies and have freely admitted it previously.)

Will Smith is a great actor and I think does an amazing job in this role. Though I don't think it is Oscar-worthy, it is a good performance and something that people should look on with a lot of respect. He has come a long way from being the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Also, the movie stars Will Smith’s real son as the son. He is remarkably good and effective in his role. He does good work but isn’t distracting the way that a child actor could be. And some of the things about his daycare are genuinely funny. (The Asian leader of his preschool has the students watch “The Love Boat” to learn about the Navy and “Bonanza” to learn about history.)

So I would give this movie 8.5 stars. It ran a bit long for my tastes or I would have rated it higher. It won the box office this week and I can understand why.


At 6:42 PM , Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I have to admit I skipped this one last weekend because it just looked to sappy .. It's beginning to look like I was way wrong, so I"ll have to give it a chance


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