The movie is based on the true story of Chris Gardener, a struggling entrepreneur in 1980s San Francisco, with one driving ambition- to be a good father to his son. He tries to improve the family financial situation by purchasing and selling medical equipment, but the investment does not work out and the family sinks further into poverty.
He sees his chance to make good after admiring a sports car on the street in the business district, where all the people seem happy. The car owner tells Chris he is a stock broker and anyone who is good with numbers and with people can be successful as a stock broker- even without a college degree. Chris uses his people skills and demonstrates the value of good relationships to get a chance at an internship where he must compete with 20 other candidates for 6 months for one paid position.
His wife leaves him, he loses his apartment, bank accounts, credit cards, and has to spend time in jail, but all through it he is dedicated to keeping his son and pursuing his dream. The title, Pursuit of Happyness spelled with a y,comes from some graffiti at the daycare center and is also a reference to an essay written by a biracial man in the US shortly after the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson.
The movie is beautifully acted by Will Smith and well written. It shows how people without money are often victimized and bullied by those who do have money and power. Yet Chris Gardener repeatedly demonstrates the importance of good relationships even with people who treat him badly. He shows the importance of knowing his strengths and using them, even in unconventional ways. His optimism turns into dogged determination as he demonstrates incredible persistence and creativity in his pursuit of happiness.
The realism and emotional punch of the Christopher Gardner story makes this a moving and inspiring drama. Whether you are inspired to be grateful for your own circumstances or by the value of grace and determination, this movie is sure to show you something about happiness- its importance and how to get it.
The Pursuit of Happyness teaches us a lot about the importance of virtues and strengths in our happy lives.