| The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) |
By far the majority of homeless are men. However, services seem to be skewed towards homeless women. So, to see a film about homelessness, and that it was a man, and he's a father and determined to do what is right for his son while getting very little support from his employer, the community, and a wife who never had a positive thing to say about him, even in front of their child, was a memory that will be imbedded in my mind and will be forever cherished. If a man treated his wife the way she treated him, he'd be labeled an abuser. But enough about her.
Oh, and he's Black. Finally, a positive story about a Black father pushing hard to make it against racism, the threat of social services coming after him, and just the every day challenges of raising a child in this country. What's unique about this situation is that it's in the media, a positive story about a Black father. For, it's been known for years that most of this country's poor are white, yet the media spends an inordinate amount of time using the racial stereotype card and making it seem like Blacks are the ones causing all the problems. The Pursuit of Happyness takes that false notion and slaps it in the face.
Will Smith and his son do an excellent job telling this true story. And it's just one of many stories of African-American fathers working extremely hard to insure that they nor their family will be dependent on the government.
It was also nice to see Cecil Williams playing himself - a man that has spent the majority of his life helping people who don't have any other place to go for food or shelter - Glide Memorial Church in downtown San Francisco. If you get a chance when visiting San Francisco, make it a point to go to church Sunday morning for a service with Cecil. It will remain one of the high points of your vacation I'm sure. And I'm not the religious sort.
Also make it a point to see The Pursuit of Happyness to remind yourself that it's easy to be a father but it takes a major effort to be a dad.
-Reviewed by: Gordon Clay
Rated: PG13 in USA, 12A in UK due to some foul language.
Duration: 1 hour, 57 minutes