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Pursuit of Happiness (2003)

Frank Whaley , Annabeth Gish , John Putch  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Whaley, Annabeth Gish, Amy Jo Johnson, Patrick Van Horn, Cress Williams
  • Directors: John Putch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Mti Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008NGDT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pursuit of Happiness" on IMDb

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre writing & direction June 9, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like romantic comedies in general, even some that I recognize as being formulaic, but I didn't like this movie. The weaknesses were immediately apparent--awkward dialogue, lack of visual style--but I hoped the movie would overcome its faults. It didn't. Unlike, for example, Wedding for Bella, which had some similar shortcomings and obvious outcomes, this movie never made me care about the lead characters--they were two-dimensional sketches rather than fleshed-out characters. I liked Amy Jo Johnson, although being a 30-year-old playing "the teenager" suggests a reason for her undistinguished career, and I liked Liz Vassey who was also relaxed in her character rather than awkwardly acting a part. Otherwise, nothing to see here. Move along.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERB OLD FASHION ROMANTIC COMEDY May 7, 2005
"Pursuit of Happiness" is a superb old fashion romantic comedy film. Actors are really good, especially I liked Annabeth Gish very much. She is a talented, beautiful and smart actress. It seems to be a simple romantic movie but it is much more than that. The perfect atmosphere of the movie can make you feel a lot of different emotions. It shows me a lot of truth that I was not aware of. It shows that the job, money, carrer and things like that are not really important. The important thing is to aware of the day, love the day, seize the day and just be happy because there are somebody around you that loves you whatever you are or you will become. If you want to watch a good film, feel wondeful things and see good acting, I suggest this film strongly.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get it for "the scene" September 3, 2003
By e5150
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for Amy Jo Johnson topless, don't bother. It's distant and you can't see squat. Other than that downer, it's a moderately entertaining film about someone coming to a crossroads in his/her life and figuring out which way to take themselves. Something most of us can relate to, as it happens, which is why it works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pursuit of Happiness August 14, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is a sweet movie. About a nice nerdy guy. He is blessed to have a lot of friends and a best friend. He goes on a sweet journey of personal growth. If you like or need a "feel good pick me up" movie this movie is right for you. After you watched the movie you end up feeling...well should I say it...happy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book... April 21, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If I had come across this movie on the shelf at the video store, I would have not just passed it by but avoided it overtly. It has the stupidest DVD cover ever. Which is ironic considering the lead character's line of work.

I gave it a chance for a couple of reasons. For one, I am always searching for the ultimate Annabeth Gish vessel, and for two, it had a solid romantic premise.

Regarding point number one, this is, in my opinion, definately the "one." As you may recall, Annabeth had a few hits in the 80s and then kind of fell off the map, fame-wise, after that. It's an absolute shame, really.

The fact is, she is brilliant at what she does -- heart rending emotions and gleaming charm. She does not disappoint in this movie. Her character is constantly making you want to reach through the screen and hug her. Thankfully she has her best friend of many years to do that for us. And for that perfect reason, this movie has officially ascended to one of my favorites - certainly within the ranks of Annabeth Gish's filmography.

If you can look past the annoying characterization of Amy Jo Johnson's role, the movie is absolutely worth at least one viewing, if not several.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little uneven, but satisfying February 4, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie is not perfect. It's slow in places, the pacing is uneven and occasional events are thrown in that seem like they should have significance, but it ends up that they don't.

However, the last 40 to 50 minutes of the movie make it all worthwhile. The chemistry between the two leads is quite good and the last half of the movie has several one-on-one scenes with them where there is a slow and effective build up to the eventual happy conclusion.

What raises this above the typical romantic comedy fare is Annabeth Gish's performance. Early in her career she had a number of roles where she played smart, warm, sensitive young women and played them perfectly. Her character in this film (Marissa) is something of a grown up version of those earlier characters. Her face conveys an array of emotions effortlessly and convincingly. There are a couple scenes near the end when Frank Whaley's character (Alan), unexpected by her, expresses his feelings. The expressions of surprise and happiness on her face as this occurs are perfect. And in what seems like a minor thing, but isn't something I've seen an actor do very often, her breathing changes subtly, but noticeably during those emotional reactions as well.

It's a warm movie. Alan and Marissa have several good friends who would do just about anything for them. But it's the friendship and buildup to something more between the two main characters that makes this a truly feel-good movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching September 2, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Good entertainment. Sometimes this does happen in real life when you only think of someone as just your best friend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars sometimes you just see whats in front of you. April 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
all things considered not a bad little kind of reminded me of the movie some kind of wonderful.only fifteen years in the know (can't see the forest for the trees).
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