The Pursuit of Happyness

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Yes, this makes three based-on-true-story movies in a row. Good catch. This one is shamelessly sentimental and manipulative; it's a good thing I can sometimes enjoy that. It's an older Will Smith movie, released in 2006, but the Netflix algorithm paired with my queue-ordering discipline finally delivered it. Mr. Smith got a deserved Oscar nomination for his performance.

He plays Chris Gardner, a man on the edge of financial disaster, living with his wife and small son in beautiful San Fran. He unwisely latched onto a get-rich-quick scheme selling medical scanning equipment; instead, it was get-poor-slowly. Instead of making ends meet, he's seeing the ends move relentlessly farther apart. Each small financial setback and dumb mistake gets magnified into a dangerous pitfall. His wife, who at least has a steady income, can't take the pressure and bails out.

But Chris has some things on his side: a winning personality, a knack for seeing how things work, excellent problem-solving skills, a deep and abiding love for his kid. And he sees a chance for rescue in the form of a long-shot internship at Dean Witter. But the path is as perilous as Odysseus's.

Mrs. Salad reported being exhausted after watching the movie. I see her point.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 5:09 AM EST