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Shelf Pick

The Pursuit of Happyness

At a quick glance, you may think there’s a typo in the title, however that’s just the beginning of this movie’s charm. This film will both make you cry and motivate you to work harder than ever before. Our main protagonist in The Pursuit of Happyness is a man named Chris Gardner, who would appear to have the world against him while he works harder than anyone else in the film. It stars Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden Smith, both playing father-son roles in the film. You may be wondering how a film about poverty and eviction gets a spot on our shelf, so stay tuned and find out why.

Why did we put The Pursuit of Happyness on The Shelf?

The Pursuit of Happyness is a film about a father going above and beyond to make his son feel normal, while they struggle with huge amounts of debt. In the film, Christopher Jr wants a basketball for his birthday. This may seem like a simple gift for some, but for Chris, this will involve spending money he simply does not have. Although the two end up completely homeless at a point in the film, Chris makes sure that his son gets the present he wanted, symbolizing comfort in this chaotic period of their lives. The two go to the court together to play in the middle of this hard time and find peace in the game of basketball. We love a film that demonstrates staying positive during hard times through sport. For many, it’s all they have.

The Pursuit of Happyness belongs on The Shelf because...

A scene that gets us super excited is when they are gifted box seats at an NFL game! This scene is amazing for two reasons. The first being they’re amazing seats that they could never afford. And secondly, we finally get to see the father-son duo have a day of fun and a break from the constant reminder that they are absolutely broke. They get invited by one of Chris’s potential clients at his new internship where he is learning about stocks. Now tell me that this film doesn’t deserve a spot on the shelf? That’s right, you can’t!

There are two final things I want to bring up while I have your attention. The Pursuit of Happyness is a great film because of its demonstration of a man who feels like the world is working against him, who manages to win in the end. This motivates the audience to believe that giving up is never an option. If Chris can do it, so can you. And just to tug a little harder on those heartstrings, this is based on a true story! This really did happen. It is inspired by a man who gave everything he had to make it to the top. And by the way, there is a happy ending. The pursuit FOR happiness is, after all, success in itself.

Melissa's Final Thoughts

Needless to say, this is an incredible film. It is filled with life lessons and captures the viewer’s emotions for the duration of the movie. This is a film I personally go back to again and again, especially whenever I feel down. The Pursuit of Happyness is a reminder to appreciate everything you have and reminds us that no matter your situation, you can find peace in something as simple as a basketball.

On The shelf

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