Sometimes you wonder how a person can summon the determination to work so hard every dang day when the world is kicking back every chance it gets.
Such was the case of one Chris Gardner, the living, breathing, heartbeat at the center of The Pursuit of Happyness.
Will Smith turned the story of this San Francisco man’s refusal to go down under what seems to be an endless roll of drowning-size waves into a wowzer of a movie role in 2006 dramatization of Gardner’s life directed by Gabrielle Muccino from a screenplay by Steven Conrad.
It’s all taken from tumultuous time Gardner lived through in 1981.
We see the rising tensions with his wife, until she leaves him and their nursery-school aged son.
We see the love he carries for young Christopher as dad drops him off and picks him up from that preschool where a hand-painted sign indeed spells the pursuit “Happyness.”
We see the financial struggles that come from bad decisions: Long hours attempting to sell large medical machines door-to-door. Months of back rent not paid. Homelessness and the nightly search for a room in a shelter.
And we see the small steps toward the top: An unpaid internship to learn the ropes as a stock broker. Smart moves and hard work to make the most out of hours in the big office. The payoff he knew was slim in chance.
At the center of it all is the relationship between father and son. Will Smith has real-life offspring Jaden Smith working wonders on film right next to him.
All viewers can be very, very happy because of the relationship.
Central New Yorkers can see The Pursuit of Happyness as part of the Liverpool Public Library’s Best Sellers to Blockbusters series at 6 p.m. Monday, June 10, an offsite event at Baldwinsville Public Library.