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Better than most..., 5 March 2008
Author: Michael DeZubiria (email@example.com) from Luoyang, China
This is an unusually informative and unique documentary about the
making of The Pursuit of Happiness. Most of it centers on the
experiences of Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino as he directs one of
America's biggest movie stars in a film about the American dream. There
is tons of great behind the scenes footage and lots of interesting
interviews with Muccino and some of the cast, although it's strange
that in some of Will Smith's interview scenes he's out of the costume
he's in in the movie and he's wearing this shirt and hat that makes him
look exactly like the Fresh Prince. He looks like a punk kid, it's
At any rate, we also learn about the technical and location challenges in making the movie, and why Smith wanted to have Muccino, who had never directed a film in America, direct this one. It seems he made a good choice!
It was also interesting to me, as it was watching the movie, to see so many fabulously wealthy people talking about this story of a man struggling on the verge of homelessness. Because of a certain job I had in Los Angeles a couple years ago I'm lucky enough to have been to Will Smith's unbelievable mansion in Calabasas and Producer James Lassiter's slightly less astonishing but still beautiful mansion near downtown LA, and it seems hard for me to believe that they really have the necessary perspective to pull off a story like this.
Nonetheless, I think the movie is incredibly moving and successful in it's intentions, maybe because, as director Muccino mentions, Americans don't really understand the American dream. You need to be a foreigner to really understand it. Whether or not that's exactly true, they have really done something special here.
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