On Wednesday night, after our friends Kevin and Marissa had come over for dinner, Heidi and I had a hankering for a movie. So, while I washed dishes, Heidi cruised over the McDonald’s Redbox. She returned with The Pursuit of Happyness, a movie we had both heard was good. It was . . . interesting.
The Pursuit of Happyness has great acting (Will Smith and his son where fantastic) and kept us interested the whole time. On the other hand, the movie just kept heaping so many bad things upon the main characters that it started to get painful for us as viewers. Also, the ending was so abrupt that I felt that we did not get any payoff for the pain we suffered. Just a couple shots of them being happy would have sufficed. The final words on the screen did not tell us much about what happened to them after the events of 1981. After the journey we took with them, there was no proper ending.
Here is my biggest beef with this and other “inspired by true events” movie. (Spoiler alert!) The movie was based on the fact that there was a guy named Chris Gardner and he had a kid, lived in San Francisco, and got a job. Almost everything else that happened in the movie was false. Chris was married, but cheated on his wife twice, the second time resulting in his son’s birth and his leaving his wife for the child’s mother. During that time he was a heavy drug user (including Cocaine and Marijuana) and a drug dealer (until a gang scared him from that habit). He did go to jail, but it was for hitting his girlfriend, not parking tickets, though they kept him twelve days for the parking tickets. The IRS never took the money from his bank account, he never solved the Rubic’s Cube, and he never sold bone density scanners. He did have another child with his girlfriend and then he left both children with her while he moved to New York City for two years after he got his job. Finally, the internship paid $1000 a month, not nothing, and they took everyone who passed the test, not just one out of 20. To sum it up, the movie was pure fiction about a man who was mostly a lowlife. How disappointing.