Pursuit of Happyness, the - Happy Dance
| The Pursuit of Happyness is the rags to riches story of Chris Gardner who went from being so poor he slept in shelters to being a successful stock broker. He did all this while raising his son alone. This is the kind of film Hollywood loves to make and it knows how to make them well.
The Pursuit of Happyness is well made. It’s entertaining, doesn’t drag, has all the right elements of sadness, laughter, inspiration and a big bang ending that start the happy-tears flowing. Don’t expect surprises. Don’t expect anything to rock your world. This is pure sugar. Yummy, but not very substantial. You’ll need another jolt the next week.
Don’t worry about having to think or to face anything unpleasant. The film refuses to tread into the issue of homelessness despite the central issue of the characters’ lives. The message is simple here. Work hard and you will achieve anything. The film doesn’t ask you to look at how our society is designed to keep people like Gardner down. Instead it just fills you with “special” moments.
The other “ah, isn’t that so special” part of Happyness is that Will Smith stars in the lead with his real life son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith in the role of his character’s son. Young Smith is so incredibly cute, which shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone who has seen his parents, that you can’t help but love him. He’s like the kid in Jerry Maguire. He’s the one really selling the tickets.
Both Smiths are strong. Will has done the safe transition from comedy star to “real actor” but honestly hasn’t done anything brilliant since his first film Six Degrees of Separation. Jaden shows he has his parents talents as well as their looks. Hopefully he also has their sense as this is one of the few Hollywood families you don’t read about in the grocery line.
The Pursuit of Happyness is exactly what it looks like. Quality fluff. If you are looking for a cheery night out at the cinema without anything even remotely close to social commentary, Happyness is for you.