The Pursuit of “Happyness” (+)

Or perhaps the lack thereof.

This new true-story cryfest defines the rags-to-riches version of the American dream. While it tugs at the heartstrings appropriately and makes you feel guilty for being middle class, it probably won’t leave you with any resonating emotion.

Chris Gardner (W. Smith) is a struggling salesman who is unable to support his family despite his extremely dedicated work ethic. When his family begins to crumble, he and his son (J. Smith) are forced to live on the streets while Chris works toward a better life for his family.

The movie overall, is most definitely a plus. It tells a story that isn’t too boring or too tragic, too obviously scripted or too funny. Will Smith and his real-life son Jayden Smith are able to pull off the perfect blend of a sad-but-true tale that never loses hope. The only reason that this story doesn’t leave the audience weeping in the aisles is because very few people can relate to the struggles the characters experience in the movie. This is the only real flaw; the film itself doesn’t affect the watcher on a personal level. You might leave saying, ‘That was such a nice movie, and wiping a tear from your eye,’ but that won’t change the fact that you steer clear of homeless men on the street.

For most moviegoers, The Pursuit of Happyness immerses you in a skillful retelling of someone else’s true story, leaving you with a sense of humble hope and nothing more.

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