Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

Let me start out by saying that I will rarely give a movie review or recommend a movie. First, because there is rarely anything to recommend, old or new. Second, this can be such a divisive issue in the church and many would think me way to conservative while others would think of me as foolish. But, last night we saw a movie worth seeing.
We were drawn to the actor, Will Smith who plays the main character, and his son who plays his son in the film. I have never seen a film that he has been in but I have read and heard some great things about him. For instance, he deeply loves his family and he vocally stands against black artist who use profanity and obsceneties to make people laugh. I applaud him for standing up in a world that does not like to be reprimanded. But, I will confess that I am not "up" on the Hollywood latest and would find it hard to believe that there aren't things that we would disagree with him on.
This is not a "leave your cares at the door-I want to be entertained" kind of movie. This is a gritty account of a single father's life. He walked us through silly mistakes, bad choices, and hard circumstances to show us that diligence, perseverance, and honesty win the day. You never heard a complaint about his situation and he never used the "color card". Instead at every moment he helped his son see the good side of all circumstances even when that meant sleeping in a subway station bathroom. You sit through one and a half hours of life to get to a few minutes of glory. But, you would not have understood the emotions at the end if you had not experienced the hardships at the beginning.
At some point I realized that I was no longer looking at Will Smith as himself but as Mr. Gardner, the man whom the movie is about. His son did an excellent job as well. It is too bad that Hollywood is so deep in their sin that they can not recognize when one of their own has truly done a fabulous job bringing a story to life.
I walked away thinking back in the past when we were going through tough financial times. I used those memories to remind me, just like the movie, that those times make the present all the more sweeter. We have a roof over our head, we have a paying job, we have food on the table. All in all, this movie made me think....and I like that.
I will say that there are things that we did not like about the movie. There was some foul language that was used to portray how negative the world was that this boy was growing up in. And, there was a modesty issue of the wife getting dressed for work (she was in her bra). There were also issues that Mr. Gardner had to face that were not easy issues to deal with (i.e. being left with a taxi tab and not being able to pay for it so he flees the scene).
I would highly recommend that if you would like to see this film wait till it comes out on video. While I walked away from this movie feeling good I did not feel this way about the fifteen minutes of movie previews before the showing of the main feature. I felt violated and sick over what I saw coming out of Hollywood. I had no idea that the entertainment industry had fallen so low. It made me all the more thankful for a husband who protects us and keeps us away from such filth. And, even more grateful to our God who has seen fit to make me sensitive to these things again.

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