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Pursuit of Happiness

3.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2003)
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$12.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by MEGA Media and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Pursuit Of Happiness

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Whaley, Annabeth Gish, Amy Jo Johnson, Patrick Van Horn, Cress Williams
  • Directors: John Putch
  • Writers: John Robert Zaring
  • Producers: Alex Hyde-White, Darryl Taja, Jerry P. Jacobs, John Robert Zaring, Shelly Bovert Hyde-White
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Mti Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008NGDT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,439 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pursuit of Happiness" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Amazon 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"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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Format: Amazon Video
It was a romantic comedy. Maybe not as funny as I would have liked it to be, but still a good movie. 5 stars because it wasn't portrayed as something it wasn't. I really enjoyed the show. I'll watch it again and will probably again.
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Format: Amazon Video
I kept thinking as I was watching this movie that the main character should have been played by Matthew Perry. I enjoyed this movie. Although predictable, there were a few surprises which made the plot interesting. Perfect romantic movie for a Friday night.
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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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
“Pursuit of Happiness” is a 2001 film classified as a romantic comedy. There is more to it than that. A fellow whose choice of women and an ability to relate to them calls to mind the role of Allen Felix in “Play It Again, Sam.” Various encounters are not only mismatches but there is difficulty in establishing meaningful relationships. All this is in pursuit of happiness. And all the folks in this film of both sexes are also in the same pursuit, one way or the other.
Curiously, the protagonist in this film, Allen (Frank Whitley) has a longtime friendship with a childhood companion, as an adult, Marissa (Annabeth Gish), which aside from a brief intimate relationship during high school, has been platonic on the surface. In reality and over time, Marissa has come to love Allen. He of course is oblivious to her feelings. Each of them over the years, has been able to use each other when anxiety-provoking situations in life arise, either romantically (Marissa’s marriage on the rocks; Allen’s relationships end up sending his girlfriend to his colleagues beds). In essence, what Allen and Marissa have been doing over the years is learning to accept, respect, understand, and support each other. In essence it is a desirable rather extended premarital courting that experts tell us is antecedent to a stable and enduring marriage.
Marissa’s marriage is on the rocks; her husband has had an extramarital affair, and as it turns out, with one of Allen’s latest live-ins. Concurrently, Allen lands a terrific job in Seattle (They are in LA). Because of their close “platonic” relationship, Allen volunteers to have her make the decision about whether he should accept the new position but she declines to take the responsibility.
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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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