The Pursuit of Happiness
Time Out saysToo shapeless, too drawn out, too much reliance on symbols - that is part of what is wrong with Mulligan's entry in the youth movie stakes. The plot is melodramatic but not incredibly so: the hero (Sarrazin) finds himself college boy one moment, prisoner (by virtue of a collision with an old lady who steps out in front of his car on a dark and rainy night) and prosecution witness in a prison murder trial the next. Mulligan seems to have intended exploring his innocent hero's 'pursuit', or rather flight, on a physical level - his opting out of student politics to indulge his model boat hobby is merely the first step - but instead the subject escapes, losing itself in getting Sarrazin from A to B rather than really looking at why. There is a serious point to it all - it shouldn't look faintly silly, but it does.