"The Pursuit of Happyness," by Chris Gardner is the astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street.It is the gripping story of his refusal to give up on his quest for the American dream and his duties to his toddler son, or give into the despair that threatened to devour him from birth.
Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) is a bright and talented, but a struggling salesman who spends his days trying to sell expensive, unnecessary medical equipment to doctors who don't need it.
Anyway the hook is that he's also a single father, Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his 5-year old son (played by Smith's real-life son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith) evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go.No longer able to cope, his wife (played by Thandie Newton) leaves him and moves to New York. He lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, and although there is no salary, he accepts, hopeful he will end the program with a job and a promising future.
So the drama comes in how this guy can find shelter for his son, wash his clothes in a sink, then get to the firm on a bus, carrying all of his belongings, Without a financial cushion,he gets kicked out of his apartment, gets arrested for not paying parking tickets, gets kicked out of a hotel, and there's not always room at the homeless shelter so he even ends up sleeping in a public bathroom at one point., He and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters,and then be the best stock broker trainee in the place in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.At one point he's on a break, he gets hit by a car and loses a shoe and then has to go back in and play it cool wearing only one shoe.
Despite his troubles, Chris continues to honor his commitment as a loving and caring father, using the affection and trust his son has placed in him as an impetus to overcome the obstacles he faces.
But what feels most striking about this film is this isn't the story of a black man learning how to succeed in a white world, or a poor person becoming rich, but the achievement of one man who looked past the litany of obstacles to which he could have easily surrendered. The fact that no one in the film looks down on him because of his sometimes unkempt appearance, much less the color of his skin, is a testament to the unfiltered purity of the real Gardner's story, and what makes the movie accessible to all audiences.