The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006) 2006 PG-13 CC

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(565) IMDb 7.9/10
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Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story about a struggling single father who dreams of a better life for his young son. Finding themselves homeless, he risks everything by embarking on an unpaid internship in a highly competitive stockbroker training program where only one in twenty interns make the grade.

Will Smith, Jaden Smith
1 hour 58 minutes

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The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Gabriele Muccino
Starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith
Supporting actors Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta, Kurt Fuller, Takayo Fischer, Kevin West, George Cheung, David Michael Silverman, Domenic Bove, Geoff Callan, Joyful Raven, Scott Klace, Rashida Clendening, Eric Schniewind, Peter Fitzsimmons, Maurice Sherbanee, Zuhair Haddad
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Will Smith performs his best role ever as Chris Gardner, and his real life son Jaden plays the younger Christopher.
K. Vestal
Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a struggling young father who choses to take a financial internship in the hopes of landing a solid job.
Joanna Mechlinski
Without telling you too much about the movie itself, I can say that this movie shows the determination of a black man to make ends meet.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"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.
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3 of 0 people found the following review helpful By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on April 18, 2007
Format: DVD
If you're not a feel-good person, it's still okay to watch THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS. Although it has some of those moments, it stands out more as a story of human struggle than a touchy-feely film. That it's based on the real-life events of Chris Gardner also increases its emotional heft as the story pulls you in. But there is a bit of cheating that must be mentioned....

Most of the story's impact comes from the father/son relationship between Chris (Will Smith, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE) and his son Christopher (played by Smith's real-life son, Jaden). The interactions between these two are so natural and effortless that it makes watching the film a sheer joy. But herein lay the trap. If any other young actor had played beside Will Smith, I don't think it would've come off as easy. But one can't blame the film team for making this decision. Jaden Smith was the perfect choice, no matter how unfair it might seem to other father/son film's that struggle with the easy-going nature of similar characters.

Viewing one man's dogged determination to maintain a functioning relationship with his son would be admirable in today's society no matter what. Especially coming from a financially destitute and broken family. That Chris Gardner refused to give up on his dream of becoming a successful father and businessman is felt throughout the movie as Will Smith's Academy Award nominated performance comes tumbling off the screen. Losing everything only to scramble back up and be repeatedly challenged is nothing new to cinema, but Smith's completely believable performance is something of a wonder. The real Chris Gardner put himself on loan to Smith and the production so that everything had that authentic feel.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David M. Rossi on March 31, 2008
Format: DVD
Those who have written reviews for this movie of anything less than 5 stars have NO idea what it means to be lower than low, at the absolute bottom with no visible way out. You see, in order to understand the struggle, you have to have LIVED it. I understand this movie because I HAVE lived it. Some other review cited that it took far too long to display the epic struggle that left us no time to relish the moment of success. I submit that were it not for the INTENSE struggle he faced, there would BE no reason to celebrate his ultimate success. It would have less meaning. I have NEVER cried so hard as I did at the end of this movie. During the course of the film, you FEEL his pain of wanting to be just that little bit more than what he felt himself to be. You yearn for him to experience that one bit of happiness to know that he doesn't HAVE to sell his blood anymore to make a few bucks to be able to fix a light in a bone density scanner he sells to provide a meal and a place to live for a few weeks for himself and his son. This man went through more tribulations than any of the other reviewers here have seen in their own lives or the family and friends that surround them. If you want to see a film that TRULY lifts you up by the climax, see the pursuit of happyness, and IGNORE the many discouraging reviews from people who have no clear understanding of personal anguish and eventual triumph. Will Smith would be hard pressed to ever again be handed a script for a more heart wrenching and satisfying movie. 5 stars +++
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