The Pursuit of Happyness

Movie review by Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Pursuit of Happyness Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Inspirational but often emotionally wrenching story.

PG-13 2006 117 minutes

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 70 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Real Life Issues - Refreshing break from anthromorphism and fantasy

Excellent acting by Will Smith and his son. So well done you could feel the despair trying to bring Chris Gardner (Will Smith) to giving up. Great example of sacrificial love for his son; realistic because he's not perfect when the stress gets intense (when he panics a couple of times he scares his boy but he doesn't allow his mistakes to keep him from loving his son and doing the best he can for him). Profanity as mentioned before by other reviewers (adds to the realistic feeling of the movie), a scene when his wife is shirtless and just wearing a bra. One instance of the son jumping on bed in underwear but brief and innocent. Outstanding acting by Will Smith. Great lesson on persevering under intense financial pressure, despair, and disappointment . Inspired this father in so many ways, not being lazy or indifferent to children, a better understanding of the plight of the homeless, looking for opportunities to help others struggling to get a leg up in their respective careers, being generous, and slow to judge just to name a few. I think it would be too intense for the youngest of viewers, but 12 and above could certainly learn a lot from this film. The only concern for me was the profanity.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

that kid'll getcha

This film does not analyze the larger systemic issues that facilitated the lack of wealth prevalent in 1981 San Francisco. The bootstraps American Dream trope is heavy-handed all over this film and it is unfortunate. For 10 people that work really hard and try to make it even in the face of homelessness how many are able to lift themselves out of poverty? It was great that Gardner made it, but what about all of the others? Smith's son got me when he was crying for his Captain America...that was real talk

Movie Details

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