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"THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS"
(2006) (Will Smith, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Moderate Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A father must overcome various obstacles and setbacks as he tries to reinvent himself so that he can care for his young son.
PLOT:
It's 1991 and Chris Gardner (WILL SMITH) is a self-employed businessman who makes commissions selling portable bone density scanners to doctors and hospitals. While the business was once booming, it no longer is, thus meaning his wife, Linda (THANDIE NEWTON), must work double shifts just to help them make ends meet. That creates tension in their marriage, leading to her not being supportive when he decides to reinvent himself by getting an internship at a brokerage house.

On the same day that he meets his possible future boss, Jay Twistle (BRIAN HOWE), Chris also learns that Linda is leaving and taking their 5-year-old son, Christopher (JADEN CHRISTOPHER SYRE SMITH), with her. Chris won't have any of that and says he'll take care of the boy, a declaration that becomes increasingly difficult when they end up with no house, car, or money to sustain themselves.

Things get worse when Chris learns that his internship will be unpaid, meaning he'll have to find another way to make ends meet while hoping that his efforts might help him land the coveted, single paying job with the firm. From that point on, he must overcome various obstacles and setbacks as he tries to do just that.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Smith, they might, otherwise it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WILL SMITH plays an early 1980s dad who's looking to better not only his life (by becoming a broker), but also that of his son. Along the way, however, he must contend with a number of challenges, complications and setbacks, including his wife leaving them, being evicted, becoming homeless, and more. While doing that, he tells various white lies and runs off without paying his cab fare (when he doesn't have the money).
  • JADEN CHRISTOPHER SYRE SMITH plays his young son who doesn't really understand what's occurring, but pretty much rolls with the punches without too much resistance. He briefly uses strong profanity, but does so in just repeating something he saw.
  • THANDIE NEWTON plays his mother and Chris' wife who's finally had enough of them and him not making enough money, prompting her to work a double-shift. She eventually leaves them, and smokes some.
  • BRIAN HOWE plays the employer who Chris repeatedly tries to impress for the job. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of one use of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A woman is briefly seen in her bra while getting ready for work in the morning.

    Tense family material includes the dissolution of a marriage with the wife eventually abandoning her husband and young child, which other thematic elements include becoming homeless. Varying degrees of bad attitudes are present, as is some drinking and a moderate amount of smoking.

    A man is accidentally struck by a car (he's dazed, but otherwise seems okay), there's some brief struggling between two people, we briefly see blood being donated, and some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • On several occasions, we see liquor along a wall in a convenience store.
  • Miscellaneous people drink beer before a football game.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a needle in Chris's arm and then some blood going into a donor collection bag (as he donates blood for money).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Linda isn't happy about her life, marriage to Chris and their financial situation. Accordingly, she treats him badly.
  • When Chris says he's going to apply for an internship to be a stockbroker, Linda throws that back in his face, asking why not try to be an astronaut.
  • Chris leaves his portable bone density machine with a street performer (so that he doesn't carry it into the office to deliver his application), but she steals it.
  • Chris learns that the woman running his son's daycare has the kids watching lots of TV.
  • About their relationship and status, Linda coldly says, "Whatever. I don't care."
  • With no money and having just shared a cab ride with Twistle who's now gone, Chris grabs his things and bolts from the cab, stiffing the rider (apologizing as he runs away from him). He also jumps a subway station's turnstile to keep running from the cabbie.
  • Chris calls Linda only to hear her say she's leaving and that she's taking their son with her (the son hears that). Chris then rushes home, to find them and most of their belongings gone.
  • Chris tells various white lies so that he doesn't have to tell the truth about being homeless and such.
  • Racing to catch a bus so that they'll get a spot in the homeless shelter, Christopher drops his toy and then pitches a fit to get it. Having lost his patience, Chris then yells at the 5-year-old to shut up.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We see a homeless guy lying face down, asleep or passed out, in the middle of a sidewalk (younger kids might think he's dead).
  • Chris gets into a subway car, but his hand and his portable bone density machine end up stuck outside the car's door as the train takes off (forcing him to drop the machine and it bounces down the platform).
  • Trying to get to a meeting, Chris darts across the road, only to have a car hit him. He goes up on the hood, breaking the windshield and losing a shoe in the process, but is otherwise okay.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Is f*ck spelled right?" "Dust and sh*t all over the place," "That's bullsh*t," "So damn happy," "What the hell you got an attitude about?" "I'll kick your ass," "Get the hell out of here," "U suck" (written in paint), "A-hole" (said just like that), "You're a piece of work," "Pain in the ass," "Don't jerk me around" and "Shut up."
  • With no money and having just shared a cab ride with Twistle who's now gone, Chris grabs his things and bolts from the cab, stiffing the rider (apologizing as he runs away from him). He also jumps a subway station's turnstile to keep running from the cabbie.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Chris tells various white lies so that he doesn't have to tell the truth about being homeless and such.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 7 asses (3 used with "hole," including 1 said as "A-hole"), 4 hells, 3 damns and 2 S.O.B.s.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a chest and up shot of Chris in the shower, and then later of Linda in her bra as they get ready for work in the morning.
  • We briefly see 5-year-old Christopher in just his underwear as he dances on a bed. We later see him in the same as Chris does something of a sponge bath on him as the boy stands.
  • SMOKING
  • Linda smokes at least 3 times, while a number of miscellaneous characters smoke in a number of scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Chris states that he met his father for the first time at the age of 28, and thus swore he'd always be there for his children (which turned out just to be Christopher).
  • Linda isn't happy about her life, marriage to Chris and their financial situation. Accordingly, she treats him badly.
  • When Chris says he's going to apply for an internship to be a stockbroker, Linda throws that back in his face, asking why not try to be an astronaut.
  • About their relationship and status, Linda coldly says, "Whatever. I don't care."
  • Chris calls Linda only to hear her say she's leaving and that she's taking their son with her (the son hears that). Chris then rushes home, to find them and most of their belongings gone.
  • Chris and Linda get into a loud argument in public over her taking their son.
  • Linda announces that she's moving to New York and then leaves, never to be seen again.
  • After they're evicted from the motel where they've been living, Christopher pitches a fit and Chris grabs him.
  • Racing to catch a bus so that they'll get a spot in the homeless shelter, Christopher drops his toy and then pitches a fit to get it. Having lost his patience, Chris then yells at the 5-year-old to shut up.
  • Christopher asks if his mom left because of him, but Chris reassures him it wasn't his fault.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The true story behind the film and any artistic license taken with that.
  • Becoming homeless and staying in shelters.
  • Brokerages.
  • The mentally ill.
  • Chris' wife leaving him and their young son.
  • The IRS tapping into Chris's account to remove money owed to them.
  • Portable bone density scanners.
  • Chris states that he met his father for the first time at the age of 28, and thus swore he'd always be there for his children (which turned out just to be Christopher).
  • Chris only having a high school education (we hear he was in the Navy) but being quite smart and working hard to become a broker.
  • Chris being jailed for not paying his numerous parking tickets.
  • Chris tells various white lies so that he doesn't have to tell the truth about being homeless and such.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Trying to get to a meeting, Chris darts across the road, only to have a car hit him. He goes up on the hood, breaking the windshield and losing a shoe in the process, but is otherwise okay.
  • After they're evicted from the motel where they've been living, Christopher pitches a fit and Chris grabs him.
  • A man grabs Chris and there's some brief struggling as they wait in line to get into a homeless shelter.



  • Reviewed December 6, 2006 / Posted December 15, 2006

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