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"Pursuit of Happyness"


bigwillfan

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why all of a sudden are the reviews bad? The first reviews, are they just by people who got to see the movie and arnt profesional critics? Are these new, bad reviews done by the profesionals. If thats the case then the real people liked it (people that buy movie tickets), its only these weirdos that dont.

Yeah, it's an interesting dichotomy. All of the reviews prior to these were good. Just so happens that they were by people who had seen the movie but aren't professional critics. Seems interesting. Another thing that catches my attention is that many of the critics are saying that the movie's ending is predictable. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who finds that odd, but isn't that the nature of most biopics? Endings that are already known...

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more bad reviews..

The real-life source material must have been more interesting and poignant than this screen version, which exhibits the worst attributes of middlebrow cinema: It's earnest, solemn, predictable, inspirational--and dull.

As directed by the Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino (who did a better job with "The Last Kiss," later remade into an American picture), "Pursuit of Happyness" embodies Smith's ideology in being sentimental (rather than emotional), positive (rather than realistic), posh and elegant (rather than gritty and down and dirty), and ultimately boring (rather than poignant).

http://emanuellevy.com/article.php?articleID=3933

"Pursuit of Happyness" embodies Smith's ideology in being sentimental (rather than emotional), positive (rather than realistic), posh and elegant (rather than gritty and down and dirty), and ultimately boring (rather than poignant).

That seems overtly biased. How does the person reviewing the movie know that it's Will Smith's ideology and does he know this is based on a real story, and therefore, by definition, realistic? Being realistic and being positive aren't mutually exclusive. That's the nature of Chris Gardner's story and to tell it any other way would be to change the story.

Exactly my thoughts.

Sentiment and emotion are equivalent to eachother, it's practically the same. Yet the genius (critic) refers to it as

two opposite designations. On top of that, he says the movie is unrealistic, I guess he missed the ''based on a true story '' part.

It doesn't get more realistic then that. Again, the movie is based on a true story so it's ultra-realistic, doesn't get more realistic,

plus the movie is positive, it gives people inspiration, hope.

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The movie also has to be entertaining..or thought provoking.. reliving a 20/20 story based on someones life does not make a great movie.. I hope the scripts a lot better than the early reviews say.. Look I never take any notice of critics when they review movies like bad boys II, or independance day, or anything like that. I do pay attention when they review the serious dramas..

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Most of the early reviews said that the movie was quite entertaining, thought provoking, and uplifting. A few even said that they hadn't thought much of Will's acting prior to this film but think he did a great job on Pursuit. Granted those were people who weren't professional critics, but had seen the movie and commented on it. The negative reviews are coming from professional critics, and while we can't dismiss their views summarily, you have to wonder about someone who says ""Pursuit of Happyness" embodies Smith's ideology in being sentimental (rather than emotional), positive (rather than realistic)." That seems like blatant bias, especially when you consider that it's a true story and that the person it was about was there all the way. Lol, and how does the guy know what Will Smith's ideology is?

What's even more odd is that many of the criticisms are inconsistent. On reviewer said that the story should have focussed more on Gardner's achievement of pulling he and his son out of poverty into luxury instead of the father and son being close dynamic while another critic said that the poor to rich angle was formulaic. One believes that the focus of the movie was the father/son dynamic while another believes it was about Gardner's financial achievement.

Another reviewer said that the movie operated in a narrow emotional range, but even from the previews, that seems somewhat false. It goes from dissatisfaction when he isn't doing well selling his medical equipment to dispair when his wife leaves, to hope when he finds out about the possibility of the internship, to jubilation when he gets the internship, to despair again when he finds out there's no pay to utter despair when he's crying sitting on the floor of a train station bathroom with his son in his arms... From one extreme to another. That's a pretty wide range of emotion.

One review said that the story was compelling, another said that it was boring... One said that the polish of the movie makes homelessness look neat and tidy, while Gardner and his son had to sleep on the floor of a train station bathroom... a situation that certainly isn't neat nor tidy, especially when it involves your son.

The only consistent criticism seems to be that the movie is too sentimental... too emotional. It's manipulative in that it plays to the emotions... It's funny because that's what Gardner's story is all about. Not sure how you would avoid that in the film without changing the focus of the story.

Edited by MaxFly
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another thing, one critic said the movie was too "hollywood" and didnt focus on emotion, but in an interview with Will, the philly one, the interviewer said she liked the way the ending wasnt hollywood but it was quiet.

i suppose we dont really know bcoz we havnt seen the movie but judging by the clips ive seen it does look really good and unlike what the critics say.

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http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/foru...z&tid=21994

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

Reviewed by Harvey S. Karten

Columbia Pictures

Grade: B

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

Written By: Steve Conrad

Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton

West, Rebecca Philipsen

Screened at: Bryant Park, NYC, 11/29/06

Opens: December 15, 2006

There's no justification for homelessness in one of the world's most prosperous countries. Even one fellow's sleeping in the streets is a sad commentary on our supposedly liberal spirit. Yet you wonder, given the underfinanced social welfare bureaus

on big cities, that you don't find tens of thousands of people sleeping in subways. Read the paper and every you'll see how this drug company is laying off 2,000 people, that high tech firm sheds 5,550, and yet another corporations sends its business to Bangladesh, declaring its U.S.-based employees redundant. Where do all these unemployed people go, particularly given the statistics on the low rate of individual savings in this country?

One guy for too long a time did not have a place to stay despite his graduating first in his high school class and first in his naval training. He fell through the cracks. In "The Pursuit of Happyness," Gabriele Muccino uses Steve Conrad's screenplay, which is "inspired by" a true story to show us how such an individual not only survived but prevailed, given his motivation to succeed. That person, Chris Gardner (Will Smith), had his own small business in San Francisco selling bone density machines to physicians, which allegedly could take pictures a little better than x-rays, but few doctors found the machine worth acquiring. With virtually no money in the bank, going on three months' default on his rent and the tax man's getting mighty impatient, Chris was in trouble. It did not help that his wife Linda (Thandie Newton), harassed him daily, sending him on guilt trips about the two shifts she had to work, requiring the couple to put their 5-year-old boy, Christopher (Will Smith's actual son, Jaden Smith). When Chris is evicted from his apartment, Linda leaves for a job in New York, putting young Christopher in his dad's care.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" deals only in a small segment with religion, yet it follows the trajectory of Stephen Simon's movie, "Conversations with God" That one is about Neale Don Walsch, a man who hit the bottom when he lost his home, who purportedly heard directly from God, transcribing the words into several volumes. The books made him a millionaire. The

chances of going from rags to riches are about on a level with those of winning the lottery or being struck with lightning, and Chris acts like a man who is himself struck with a bolt. Parking himself outside the offices of the brokerage firm of Dean Witter for a month, he lands a non-paying internship, a grant which gives him one chance in twenty of getting a paid job as a broker. Sleeping with his son one night in a public bathroom, several other nights in a shelter (which turns people away once the beds are full), he masters the Dean Witter textbook, lands accounts by making hundreds of cold calls weekly, and await the word on whether he'd be the Chosen Paid Employee.

"The Pursuit of Happyness," spelled in that quirky way because that is the style of a graffito on a neighborhood wall, allows Gardner–who is only a high-school graduate–to ponder the words that Thomas Jefferson carved into the Declaration of Independence. While scholars believe that Jefferson's philosophy is that happiness should take precedence of property in the expression, "life, liberty, and property," Chris interprets the words pessimistically. He believes that happiness is so elusive that one can hope only to chase after it. Chris does a lot of chasing, literally–running after two thieves who steal his bone density machine and running to be on time for an interview with a mover and shaker whom he hopes to turn into a Dean Witter customer. In other words, he's doing the American thing: pursuing happiness.

In like manner, the performers and crew of this picture are pursuing the same lofty goal. Do they achieve it? They certainly have made an entertaining, heart-rending drama with many servings of comedy. This is a feel-good, strictly Hollywood film, an old-fashioned charmer that has only some aspects in common with another, far more serious drama of a troubled family relationship, Anthony Minghella's "Breaking and Entering." There's room in our society for both types of family dramas, and while critics like me tend to prefer to deeper, more complex tales, you can't fault the makers of "Happyness" for turning out this upbeat charmer.

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http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=2690

Constructed to be the season's premier feel-good fable about holding on to one's dreams at any cost, and pushing yourself to the absolute limits to achieve those goals, The Pursuit of Happyness expectedly suffers from Muccino's overstated handling of the material. Having never met a tender moment he didn't feel compelled to unnecessarily underline, and still incapable of doing something interesting with his widescreen frame, the Italian filmmaker coats his English-language debut in slush with every heavy-handed edit, super close-up, image of Smith running (err, I mean "pursuing"), and shot that features the Stars and Stripes as a means of elucidating that Chris's saga is an example of the American Dream at work. Whether or not they're factually accurate, scenes in which Chris gets his foot in the Dean Witter door by brandishing his eye-opening Rubik's Cube skills, or aces his subsequent interview while dappled with paint and wearing an undershirt and Member's Only jacket, feel heavily slathered in stock screenwriting gooiness, an impression only amplified by Andrea Guerra's soaring score and the accompanying sounds of "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

In keeping with its overriding, idealistic faith in the U.S.'s economic meritocracy, though, the film's refusal to overtly address the omnipresent racial divide between Chris and his mostly white coworkers and superiors—which instead is tackled via laughably unsubtle incidents like one involving rich Caucasians gaily whooping it up while driving past a homeless shelter line in their shiny sports car—eventually comes off as a disingenuous attempt to avoid introducing narrative complications that might be uneasily resolved amidst all the heartstring-tugging conversations between Chris and his cutie-pie son. No such knock, however, can be leveled against Smith, whose performance blatantly and lustily strives for award-consideration largeness and yet, in the barely suppressed anguish and desperation behind the actor's eyes and miserable tremble of his exhausted body, captures a sense of pride, duty, and fear that radiates authenticity even in the face of Muccino's pile-driver cloying manipulations.

And...

http://www.ubercine.com/PursuitofHappyness-G.html

No offense to the real Chris Gardner (who shows up in a cutesy walk-across at the tail), but as portrayed by Will Smith in

this brief but significant segment of his life he seems like the kind of guy who sincerely believes that all is well in the

world as long as he has a Benz in the driveway, a plasma on the wall and no bitch in the way. Not my sort of hero.

Again, lack of consistency... :thumbdown:

Edited by MaxFly
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Interesting is that Muccino is a highly respected director in Europe but his methods are being bashed in the U.S.

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Those last 2 reviews I agree with.. maybe they should have used chris gardners story to tell a broader picture.. overstating all these "feel-good" moments really is unneccesary.. based on the reviews of course..still waiting to see the movie myself..

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Still, The Pursuit of Happyness only digs deep enough to impart something you already know: It's far better to be rich than broke. Draped in the flag, which flutters in almost every scene to remind us that Gardner's is the quintessential tale of the American dream come true, the movie eschews the darkest parts of its subject's backstory: his abusive stepfather, the mother who did time in prison for trying to burn down the house with the stepfather in it, the years a young Gardner spent bouncing around foster homes. We know nothing of this man, save for the fact that he made a terrible investment that cost him his woman and his apartment—and that two hours later, he's rich because the end scroll tells us so. Go see this and you're just making the wealthy a little wealthier.

http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0650,wilonsky,75284,20.html

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