The Pursuit of Happyness

Film, Drama

Time Out says

With its title taken from a misspelling on the wall of the child-care centre to which salesman Chris Gardner (Will Smith) sends his five-year-old son Christopher, this tale of one man’s struggle over adversity to live the American Dream is so far-fetched that if it wasn’t ‘inspired by a true story’, you’d never believe a word of it.

With bills stacking up and his wife (Thandie Newton) gone to NYC, college dropout Chris enrols as an intern at a stockbrokers’. Life couldn’t get much worse. Kicked out of their apartment, father and son (played by Smith’s kid Jaden) bounce between homeless missions until Chris, hopefully, secures a job.

Given the task of marshalling the saccharine in Steven Conrad’s script, it’s a credit to Italian director Gabriele Muccino and Smith that they largely eschew the sentimental option. Smith hits all the right notes – understated, engaging, inspirational – even if his young son threatens to charm him off the screen.



Release details

Release date:
Friday January 12 2007
117 mins

Cast and crew

Gabriele Muccino
Steven Conrad
Jaden Christopher Syre Smith
Dan Castellaneta
Thandie Newton
Will Smith
Brian Howe
James Karen
Kurt Fuller