Will Smith Running
The Pursuit of Happyness
Review by Ross Anthony

The purposeful misspelling in the title isnít the only thing about this film thatís a bit misaligned. I was really looking forward to enjoying the production. Itís been a bit of a hectic holiday season and I wanted to sit back and watch a sweet father & son film about happiness. Perhaps the error was mine, because this is not that film.

Although there are a few sweet father & son scenes, they arenít nearly sweet enough or plentiful enough to overcome a picture thatís about some guy willing to push others to the ends of their patience because his plans didnít quite go as planned. His ultimate motivation is good Ė to provide for and be a father for his son no matter what. That is awesome. And his relentless efforts are admirable too. But the film contrives a ridiculous shower of Bone Density Scanner chase scenes that weigh down the already too long movie. Unfortunately, I wonít be remembering the tender moments, Iíll be remembering Will Smith running through the streets of San Francisco chasing homeless crazies and hippy street musicians. And, I promise you, those wonít be inspiring memories.

While otherwise, perhaps realistic, the film is one drag after another. A string of annoyances that no doubt riddled the real life of Chris Gardner, but when put in a Hollywood film, feel quite set up like dominos that fall with clichť timing. And like that string of dominos, the film demonstrates very little emotional value or dynamic action. Itís two hours of Will Smith running, ignoring his wife, and dragging his kid around like a rag doll.

And then, thankfully, at the very end, he gets what heís been pursuing Ė he becomes a stockbroker. Of course, thatís an impressive accomplishment especially given his circumstances. Iím glad for him, I wanted it for him. But, itís a weak substitute for a title that promises happiness.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.

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  • The Pursuit of Happyness. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith.
  • Directed by Gabriele Muccino.
  • Screenplay by Steve Conrad.
  • Produced by James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and Will Smith at Overbrook/EscapeArtists.

Grade..........................C+ (1/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2020 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 20-Dec-2006 08:29:04 PST