I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, on New Year’s Day. The movie is about Chris Gardner, a father raising his son while struggling to overcome tremendous hardships, including periods of homelessness.
Rotten Tomatoes rates the movie a 68 and provides the following critical consensus: "Will Smith’s heartfelt performance elevates The Pursuit of Happyness above mere melodrama." Read the full review here.
With respect to featuring a charity and/or charitable giving, I’ll give it 2 (**) stars out of 4 for the scenes inside and outside Glide Memorial Church. In the movie, based on a real-life story, Glide and Rev. Cecil Williams provided needed shelter to Gardner and his 5-year old son when they had no home. Read more about Glide and Chris Gardner here.
While it would have been nice to see more about how Gardner valued the contribution of Glide and Rev. Williams to his eventual success, it is not surprising that such scenes were not included in the movie. Hollywood prefers heroes to make it all on their own, maybe with the help of a friend or two, but rarely with the help of a charity. I’ll make a New Year’s wish for more stories featuring charities and charitable giving that result in visible successes.