15 February 2010

The Pursuit of Happyness

Genre: Drama. Distributor:Columbia Pictures. Country: United States. Year release: 2006.

The movie is based on a true story of Christohpher Gardner. Happyness is a misspelling of Happiness.


A navy veteran, Chris Gardner, invests the family savings in a dealership of an expensive portable medical scanner. Chris's wife, Linda, holds a low-paying job at a dry cleaning shop, while a neighbourhood day care centre was entrusted with their son. The slow selling devices bring the family of three through financial hardship. Chris has difficulties in paying for the rent of their apartment and the fee of day care. One day he encounters a happy man clothed in fine clothing and driving an expensive car at the street. He is curious and asks what the man is doing for a living. The answer is "stock broker." The man also tells Chris of a brokerage training program. Chris tells Linda he wants to be a stock broker but she wants to break up with him. Soon she wants to take up a pizza job in New York, and the stock broker phones Chris about an opening in the program. In an interview Chris finds out the six-month program has no pay and the brokerage can hire only one person out of 20 trainees at the end. Finally, Linda leaves Chris, but he manages to keep his son with him. Later he loses his apartment and he and his son struggle homelessness, while he sells the remaining inventory of the medical devices and works hard in the training.

At the end of the movie, Chris succeeds.

Real-Life Story

Christopher Paul Gardner was born on 9 February 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father left his mother early and his spent his childhood with his mother in poverty. After graduating from high school, Gardner enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed as a corpsman in North Carolina for four years. Gardner met Dr. Robert Ellis, a cardiac surgeon and a researcher, who asked Gardner to work for him. Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1974, Gardner joined Dr. Ellis as a research associate in Ellis's laboratory in San Francisco. Two years later, he had the management of the laboratory of Dr. Ellis, with whom he co-authored several papers in medical journals.

He moved in with a dental student, Jackie Medina, while he and his wife separated. Soon, Jackie gave birth to Christopher in January 1981. The small salary of his lab assistant job did not support the new family, so he quit and became a medical equipment salesman. Fascinated with stock trading he entered into a stock brokerage training program of Dean Witter Reynolds. The program provided him only a meagre stipend of $1,000 a month. In this period, Jackie left him , and he and his son struggled with homelessness.

Later he worked at Bear Stearns between 1983 and 1987 where he became a top earner. In 1987, he opened his own brokerage firm in Chicago that specialized in debt, equity and derivative products. Initially he used his home in a small apartment as office; however, his business prospered and he could sold his stake in his firm with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco for a multi-million deal in 2006.

In a televised interview he did with 20/20 in January 2002, his amazing life story received an overwhelming national response. He published an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, in May 2006, which became a bestseller and has been translated into fourteen languages.



Will Smith - Chris Gardner
Jaden Smith - Christopher Gardner Jr (note: real son of Will Smith)
Thandie Newton - Linda
Best Scenes

Ending Scenes


Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer: Steve Conrad
Released by: Columbia Pictures, USA
Release Date: December 2006
Runtime: 117 min

Nominations and Wards

79th Academy Award for Best Actor (Will Smith, nominee)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama (Will Smith, nominee)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture
Capri Award for Movie of The Year
Box Office: Worldwide markets grossed $304 million - $162 million in the US and Canada, and $142 million in other markets.


The unexceptional film is very moving and inspirational. Will Smith has done a very well done job in portraying Chris Gardner. His acting has matured from his television days to the other blockbusters. The touchy moments of the father and son relations are shown by the convincing acting of Will and his real son Jaden. The film can be felt by the audience as real and honest with no artificial acting. After the difficult 2008-2009 recession, the world might still appreciate the hardship of the characters in the film and find it uplifting.

In the US Declaration of Independence, the pursuit of happiness is included as a right — "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


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