University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The Pursuit of Happyness
The Movie The Pursuit of Happyness made in 2006. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, this movie is about a man who was broke, homeless, and had to support his five year old son alone. The movie takes place in 1981, in San Francisco. The movie is rated PG13 and stars Will Smith as Chris Gardner, and Will Smith’s son Jaden as Christopher Gardner Jr. The movie represents how hard work can change a person’s life for the better. Throughout the movie Chris Gardner’s family, career, and some of his life is shown. This movie is mostly not a good representation of Chris Gardner besides some life facts.
Chris Gardner had to live and sleep many different places while he worked to improve his life. Chris had to sleep on buses, subways, in public bathrooms, homeless shelters, and some other places. The places where Chris had to stay while trying to improve his life was one of the few correct facts about his life shown in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. Chris had a conversation with a man who owned a red Ferrari 308 convertible. Chris was leaving a hospital and was heading to his car in a parking lot when he saw the Ferrari. Bob Bridges, the owner of the Ferrari was looking for a parking place and Chris took this as an opportunity to learn what Bob does by offering his parking spot for information.
This man told Chris that he was a stock broker; a couple weeks after they met they had lunch together and talked more about being a stock broker. This is what influenced Chris to start in the field of stocks. In the movie however, Chris did have a conversation with this man, but it was on the side of a street and Chris never learned the man’s name. Chris and Bob never had a second conversation or lunch together. The movie did not accurately represent Chris’s life facts, except for minor facts. One part of Chris’s life that the movie did not portray very well was his family.
Chris Gardner had two different wives. In the year 1981 Chris had a two year old son, also with the name of Chris, with his second wife. Chris at this time was trying to get a job in stocks. His wife had left him and taken their son. She would not tell Chris where they were. When Chris would call her she did not tell him where she was, and Chris could hear his son in the background crying. Chris did however have his son at some parts of his life in this time period.
When he did have his son he would have to have a baby carriage to carry his son around, because he was not old enough to walk on his own. In the movie, all of this was redone in a much different way. Chris only had one wife, but she had the personalities of both of his wives put together. In the movie, Chris never had his son taken and hidden from him by his wife, he always had his son and his wife left and went to New York and was never seen again. Also, in the movie, Chris’s son was five years old so he did not need a baby carriage, because his son could walk. The movie was not very accurate in the representation of Chris Gardner and his family. This is also true between Chris’s career in real life and the movie.
Chris was a salesman in the field of medical supplies, and then became a trainee at Dean Witters. He was paid about one thousand dollars a month as a trainee. Throughout his life Chris never went completely broke, but did have a lot of problems with money and as a result he had nowhere to live. Chris worked hard to become a broker for Dean Witters, especially because he was not able to always put in the same amount of hours as all the other trainees. This was because he had to leave early to be able to get into the homeless shelter before it was full. In one part of the movie Chris impresses one of Dean Witters higher up employees by solving a Rubik’s cube, was considered impossible in the movie, to try and get the job of a trainee. In real life Chris never did this. He actually never used a Rubik’s cube at all.
Even though Chris did not use a Rubik’s cube in real life it could have been possible, because the Rubik’s cube had just been released in 1980 and was internationally popular in 1981, the same time period the movie is based in. Before Chris was a trainee he was selling medical supplies to make money. This meant he spent a lot of his time going from hospital to hospital trying to sell his supplies. In the movie Chris did sell medical supplies, but he only sold bone density scanners. This was a device that would take an x-ray with a slightly better picture then other scanners, but was a lot more expensive so he had a difficult time finding someone to buy them. He had spent all of his life savings on the scanners thinking it was a good investment. This however is what led him in to being broke.
In really life however, Chris never sold a bone density scanner or spent all his money on any medical supplies. Also, in the movie, while Chris was a trainee he did not get paid like he did in real life the only money he made was from selling the scanners and a couple of small things to make some money like giving blood. Therefore, the movie was not very accurate in showing his career.
The movie The Pursuit of Happyness is not a good representation of the life of Chris Gardner or his family and career. The movie had changed many parts of Chris’s life to make the film more exciting and interesting to watch, but still kept some of his life true with just a slight change or two.