Southern Man

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Movie Review - The Pursuit of Happyness

You would think that after such an exciting and wonderful Christmas that Southern Man would be ready to take some rest, but noon his gf was on the phone and ready to shop. Well, Southern Man had Christmas money to burn and a list of stuff he wants, so off we went to the mall.

The mall has a big theater complex and gf wanted to see another movie. This time it was Will Smith and his real-life son in The Pursuit of Happyness (sic), which is "based on the true story" of Chris Gardner, a homeless black man who beats the odds to become a successful businessman in early-80s San Fransisco. Gardner, who was at first reluctant to have his life story on film but later heartily approved of both the film and of Smith's portrayal, and Cecil Williams, the minister of a women's shelter who broke his own rules and allowed Gardner and his son to stay there, both have cameos in the film.

Southern Man's son asked if Smith's acting was "good" in this film. Well, it was certainly his most intense performance since Ali a few years ago and far beyond anything he did in the entertaining-but-still-awful Men in Black II and Wild Wild West. Garner and his son endured heartbreaking hardship during his dogged struggle for success, and their relationship as portrayed by Smith and his real-life son is authentic and convincing. The film does a good job of showing the gritty lives of the (mostly black) poor and homeless of San Francisco as well as the lush lifestyles of the successful (and mostly white) businessmen and stockbrokers of that era. On the other hand, you know how it's going to turn out. However, Smith's intensity and charisma and a solid supporting cast make this film work.

After the movie we retired to casa gf for leftover roast and potatoes and a few hours in front of the tube. Not a bad way at all to spend the day after Christmas.


At Wednesday, December 27, 2006, Anonymous Shelley said...

Busy is good. I like being busy with you.


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