Mother’s Day Gift

Continual learning is important. My family bought me a writing class to learn more about how to develop stories. So far, I’m learning more about genres, market audiences, character development, arcs, and structure to potentially create a script. I’m really excited about this new venture.

For our first assignment, we must really examine one of our favorite movie stories. I picked The Pursuit of Happyness which came out in 2006 starring Will Smith. This is what I wrote for my assignment:

I have three favorite scenes from this movie.  The first scene I love is when Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) gets into the cab with Jay Twistle.  Chris Gardner is a luckless entrepreneur who has invested most of his life’s dedication and family money in bone density scanners for doctors which are unfortunately mostly unsellable.  He dreams of working for Dean Witter Reynolds where Jay Twistle is the hiring manager for an unpaid and challenging internship program which apprentices only the best candidate to join their team.  Chris hops into the cab with Jay and makes several attempts to impress the distracted manager.  It is only when Chris shows Jay how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the cab, that the manager sees Chris is very smart and has real potential with their company.

Throughout the movie, we see Chris trying to juggle so many responsibilities.  As a Dad and husband, he is as we learned in class, the character of a “loveable screw-up.”  As we see him try to get adequate daycare for his young son, try to sell the bone density scanners over and over again, get into a hilarious catch the thief escapade with some folks that have stolen his products, and also deal with financial burdens breaking his marriage apart and threatening his livelihood as well as home…we, the viewers, can sympathize with his plight and eagerly want him to overcome adversity. 

Chris faces many obstacles in his own pursuit of happiness which he sees at Dean Witter Reynolds.  He is a man with an extraordinary skill set of intelligence and quick thinking.  We also see a deep bond, a true love between father and young son.  This leads me to the second favorite part of the movie when Chris Gardner is watching his son play basketball.  He gets frustrated and tells Chris Jr. to give up on his dream of becoming a good basketball player.  Then we see him look out at the skyline of San Francisco and in particular, Dean Witter Reynolds, and he kneels down to talk to his son.  He tells his son not to let anyone tell him he can’t have aspirations or goals.  At that moment, we see his internal frustration but his love for his son drives him onward to be a good role model and pick up the torch again and try even harder to secure a position at Dean Witter Reynolds.  It becomes a pivotal moment in the film as he makes the choice to keep going. 

His external goal as a character is to provide for his family but also to take calculated risks that could lead to great potential for his future.  His internal goal as a character is to find happiness, or rather to prove his worth or value in a very busy society that keeps continually dismissing him. 

My third favorite part of the movie is the climax.  After jumping through many hoops in the unpaid internship program, he becomes one of the top sellers for the firm and attracts a major client by going above and beyond to make the sale.  His resourcefulness and persistence pay off even as he loses his home and, at one point, ends up on the streets locked in a public restroom with his son trying to get his son some needed rest.  This is a true love story as well between parent and child.  So, in the end, we see Chris Gardner called into the office with the bosses and offered the full-time position with Dean Witter Reynolds.  He fights back tears as he accepts the position.  In the closing comments we learn that this is based on a true story from the 1980s and that Chris Gardner works successfully for many years at the firm before venturing out to start his own firm. 

I love this movie and recommend it to my friends because it is very inspirational though it is difficult to watch all the trials and tribulations Chris Gardner has to face on his way to the top.  This is a great business and entrepreneurial movie with a happy ending that really pleases the audience.  I really like the choice of Will Smith for this film because he can convey all the physicality of literally running over and over again in the movie to pursue his goals.  Also, Will Smith is great at portraying a wide array of emotions and is very likeable as Chris Gardner.  You can see he really has a lot at stake but he is willing to take the big risks for a greater potential outcome.