Photo: Pursuit of Happyness Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Film Club: The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

With Will Smith in the lead role, the Pursuit of Happyness is a rare breed - a feelgood Wall Street movie...


If you haven’t watched this movie, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it.

In one of Will Smith’s best roles, acting alongside his son Jaden Smith, we see the rare depiction of a true Wall Street success story. This raw and unforgiving biopic is the story of Chris Gardener's fight in an unpaid internship against 19 others to become a stockbroker, all while facing destitution and homelessness.

Chris starts by spending his life savings on a medical product that’s said to be the next best thing. After years of failing to sell the useless kit, and living in poverty, his wife leaves him. Completely broke and about to be kicked out of his apartment, he decides the best thing to do is to apply for an unpaid internship.

Each day Chris drops his son Christopher at day-care - where they misspelled the word ‘happyness’ - and then makes his way to his internship carrying all his possessions with him. At night he struggles to make it to the homeless shelter to get a room for him and his son to sleep in.  One of the most memorable scenes sees Chris and his son having nowhere but the floor of a subway bathroom to sleep on - which they referred to as the ‘cave’.

This movie - based on the book of the same name - shows Gardener's ruthless ambition to become something more than a man of poverty. The real life Chris Gardener (who makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo at the end of the movie) now lives as a multi-millionaire having founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich & CO. See, it’s not all bad on Wall Street…

Best Part:

When Chris and Christopher got to the football game, the scene is like a huge inaudible sigh of relief. Finally somebody gave this guy a break!

Worst Part:

When Chris loses his shoe after being hit by a car- we never find out what happened to that damn shoe.

Memorable Quote:

Marin Frohm: "What would you say if a man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say?"
Chris Gardner: "He must have had on some really nice pants."

TraderLife Rating: