The Pursuit of Happyness (Widescreen Edition)
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his 5-year-old son Christopher (Jaden Smith). When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own. Chris' determination finally pays off when he lands an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker-training program, where only one in twenty interns will make the cut. But without a salary, Chris and his son are evicted from their apartment and are forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro station bathroom. With self-confidence and the love and trust of his son, Chris Gardner rises above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.
A heartwarming film that demonstrates how good, hard-working people can become homeless almost overnight, Pursuit of Happyness is a tour-de-force showcase for Will Smith, who convincingly portrays a down-and-out dad trying to better his family's life. Smith, who usually is cast in effortlessly boyish roles (Men in Black, Independence Day), is wonderful in the film--even in the scenes that shamelessly tug at viewers' heartstrings. Based on the true-life story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman forced at times to shelter his young son (played by Smith's adorable look-alike offspring Jaden Smith) in a men's room, there is little suspense to the film in terms of Chris' outcome. (His story and eventual success a successful and wealthy Chicago businessman was well-publicized on the newsmagazine show 20/20.) And let's face it, Hollywood's not too keen on making feel-good movies with unhappy endings. The beauty (and suspense, to a certain extent) of this film is in the way the story is told. Though he is constantly rushing around to get to appointments and pick up his child, things do not happen quickly for Chris. When he accepts an internship with a prestigious stock brokerage firm, there's a catch: The position is unpaid, suitable more for trust-fund children than single parents with no other source of income. In many scenes, the viewer panics along with Chris, wondering how he's going to feed his child. While Smith and his son, Jaden, share many tender moments together, Thandie Newton has the thankless role of playing Chris' shrill wife, who deserts her family early in the film. It's not a particularly challenging part for the talented actress, and her departure doesn't impact the storyline much at all. As for the movie's misspelled title, it's inspired from a scene in the film. (Seeing a mural drawn by the children at a daycare center, Chris points out to the proprietor that "happiness" is spelled incorrectly. She notes that it doesn't matter how the word is written--just that the kids have it.) With Pursuit of Happyness, Smith has come out of his safety zone and, in turn, ends up playing his most heroic role to date. --Jae-Ha Kim
Extras from The Pursuit of Happyness
Behind the scenes footage of
The Pursuit of Happyness
"On Being Studied By Will Smith"
Will Smith And Jaden Smith: "On Will Always Being In Character"
More Films Starring Will Smith
More Films About Fathers & Sons
Stills from The Pursuit of Happyness (click for larger image)
!-- end6pak -->
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.75 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 15085
- Director : Gabriele Muccino
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 57 minutes
- Release date : March 27, 2007
- Actors : Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Producers : Jason Blumenthal, Will Smith, Steve Tisch, Todd Black, James Lassiter
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B000N6U0E2
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But this week, I figured, if other people have the courage to actually face being homeless with a child, how could I not have the courage to sit in my living room and watch a movie about it? Homelessness is such a huge problem in our country right now. And people who are in this struggle don't need our sympathy, they need our empathy, and for us to hope with them like we do with the characters in this film.
The soundtrack is well done, all the performances are great, and in the end, of course, it is a film about fatherhood as well as about pursuing happiness.
I am a big believer that you haven't really failed until you stop trying. Each day is a new opportunity to try something new and approach problems from a different angle.
Most people in this world play it safe but there are times when stepping out on faith works when you can't immediately see a way forward. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box in order to get to where you want to go and this is something that entrepreneurs do well.
Will Smith's character didn't know sometimes from one day to the next where his money would come from or when, but he took things one step at a time and was constantly looking for every resource he could utilize to meet his goals.
Like his wife, there are many people who don't see opportunities when they present themselves or don't take them because they think they're too much of a longshot. I thought that the son's story about God sending two boats was well placed as symbolic of that very concept. Opportunities come and go but it takes a certain perceptiveness to know which ones are crucial to follow up on.
It may be that individuals like the man this story is about are relatively rare, but they're out there and although there are many people who stay destitute all their lives it is sometimes possible to beat the odds if you can identify what it requires to make something happen and follow those steps.
I believe success is more than just working hard, as there are many people who work hard their entire lives and die poor, but it's more about working smart, and being at the right place at the right time. It also requires lots of patience.
Top reviews from other countries
Christopher (Jaden Smith): "All right".
Chris: "You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period".
I have to confess that I have a big crush on Will Smith, an actor and rapper who I find super sexy, nice, funny, and cool. I’ve recently bought many of his movies and albums. I am only now discovering, together with my kids, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Yes, I didn’t watch it in the 90s!). So, I bought this movie just because Will is in it. And I was blown away by the movie. The Pursuit of Happyness (yes, with a “Y”: that’s because of a misspelled graffiti on the wall of Christopher’s depressing day-care) is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The film is touching, surprising, sad and funny. The Pursuit of Happyness will break your heart and will make you value what you have. But this is not a depressing movie. It is a movie about hope, love, survival, fatherhood, and about never giving up your dreams.
The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story: the story of Chris Gardner and his struggle for a decent life while keeping his son next to him at all times. The real Chris Gardner was present throughout the shooting and discussed several things with Will and director Gabriele Muccino.
Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar for his breathtaking performance of Chris Gardner. That’s definitely one of the best performances of Will’s career (if not the best), together with his stunning portrayals of Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion (2015).
Chris Gardner first thought that Will was miscast to play him, but his daughter Jacintha told him: “If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!”.
Jaden Smith’s performance is also amazing. He wasn’t casted in the film right away. Director Gabriele Muccino saw some 250 kids and he said that they were all cute and fine. The problem was that Muccino wasn’t looking for a cute and fine little boy, but for a little boy who could be real. After a week, Muccino asked Will if his son Jaden could read for him, and, when he did, Muccino was amazed. The love that father and son have for each other in real life can be definitely felt in the movie. Jaden, who portrays a 5 year old Christopher, was 8 years old when the movie was shot and released. The real Christopher (Chris Gardner’s son), however, was just a baby at the time of the real events.
The best: Will’s brilliant performance, the toilet scene, Will’s running, Jaden’s fresh performance, and the board room scene towards the end of the movie.
The worst: nothing.
The story follows Gardner (Will Smith) as he loses it all and then by chance takes up a salary free internship in a stock brokers, whilst living with his son in a homeless shelter.
The story is heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure, Will Smith is great as Gardner and portrays the right levels of motivation and foolhardiness, Jayden Smith is very good as his son, and the intimacy between the pair, makes the story much more convincing during the most harrowing scenes.
I found this story to have a great arc and to be both sad and motivating in equal measure, watching Gardner lose everything you build a relationship with the character, meaning that you are rooting for him until the final scene. The elements where the father and son are forced to sleep rough in a tube station toilet was particularly hard to watch and the film doesn’t shy away from these scenes or sanitise them.
The film is well shot with good pacing and some lovely cinematography, the acting is first rate and this is an underrated but really worthwhile film.
The film itself is good, Will Smith carrying Chris Gardner off well, and his son Jaden great. The story can sometimes be a bit unbelievable, but the way it's told really does make it enjoyable. Plenty of funny bits in between the sadness; the chases to get the bone scanner being some of the best action bits.
The Blu-ray transfer is great, 24fps, 1080p AVC, so it's great quality. The sound is also well transferred: 5.1 PCM, which isn't bad, would have liked TruHD, but that's by the by.
All the extras are here, in MPEG2 format, which is just a touch over the DVD quality. The best one being the Rubik's Cube featurette, fascinating.
This is well worth getting on the HD platform, it's clear as a bell and reminds me of when I saw it in cinemas, clear, bright and colourful. You won't find a better transfer, well until HD is superseded, but that's a long way away. If you really like this movie, get it, otherwise might be better getting the DVD.
4/5 for the film, 4/5 for the transfer and 3/5 for the extras.