The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.
Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a "bone density scanner". He feels like he has it made selling these devices. However, they do not sell well as they are marginally better than x-ray at a much higher price. As Gardner works to make ends meet, his wife leaves him and he loses his apartment. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner continues to sell bone density scanners while concurrently taking on an unpaid internship as a stockbroker, with slim chances for advancement to a paid position. Before he can receive pay, he needs to outshine the competition through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices to stay afloat.
1981, San Francisco. In what limited academic opportunities he has had in his life, Chris Gardner has demonstrated that he is a smart man. Yet he is struggling financially in his life. He has invested all his money on portable bone density scanners, which he personally sells to physicians. Despite being a better product than x-rays machines, they are also far more expensive, meaning that they are an unnecessary luxury for most physicians. He needs to sell three scanners per month just to meet the basic necessities to support his family, his wife, Linda, and their five year old son, Christopher, on who he dotes since he didn't know his own father when he was a child. But lately, that has been three per month more than he has sold, resulting in an increasing embittered Linda continually needing to work double shifts doing manual work at a laundry, which still isn't enough to cover those basic costs, they being currently behind three months rent. Chris can't afford to pay his parking ticket, meaning that he has to take the bus everywhere now as the clamp remains on the tire of his car. Feeling like the scanner is not the answer to their financial problems, Chris, with or without Linda's blessing, decides to take a chance by switching careers when he sees that brokerage and securities firm Dean Witter has a six month internship program, which only admits twenty applicants, leading to only one intern being hired at the end of the process. It isn't until he is well immersed into the process that he learns that the internships are non-paying. Based largely on his chutzpah, Chris, against the odds, gets one of the twenty positions. With some changes in their lives resulting in fewer expenses, Chris figures he needs to sell his remaining six scanners just to scrape by for those six months. But some unexpected issues arise which leads to the Gardners possibly not making it through this phase of their lives financially, something he has to hide from his superiors at Dean Witter if he has any chance at all of making it through the internship and getting that paying job with them.
The rousing, true-life story of a single dad who went from living on the streets to owning his own brokerage firm is brought to the big screen by superstar Will Smith, appearing for the first time opposite his real-life son Jaden Smith. Set in early-'80s San Francisco, the film charts the hard times and eventual comeback of Chris Gardner, a suddenly single salesman who has custody of his son, but finds that providing for the two of them is a challenge in the increasingly unstable economic climate. He struggles to work his way from unpaid intern at Dean Witter to something more substantial, even as life continues to offer him setbacks.
In 1981, in San Francisco, the smart salesman and family man Chris Gardner invested the family savings in Ostelo National bone-density scanners, an apparatus twice more expensive than x-ray with practically the same resolution. The white elephant financially breaks the family, bringing troubles to the relationship with his wife that leaves him and moves to New York. Without money and wife, but totally committed with his son Christopher, Chris sees the chance to fight for a stockbroker internship position at Dean Witter, vying for one career in the end of six months training period without any salary with other twenty candidates. Meanwhile, homeless, he has all sorts of difficulties with his son.
Chris Gardner has big dreams for him and his family but it doesn't seem to come together for him. Chris has an opportunity to be a stock broker but first he has to go through a grueling internship which means no pay. Chris decides to do it but when his wife leaves and he is evicted, he has to take care of his son on his own. So they find themselves sometimes living on the street and struggling to get by. But Chris is determined to make it.
- In 1981, in San Francisco, the smart salesman and family man Chris Gardner (Will Smith) invests the family savings in Osteo National bone-density scanners, an apparatus twice as expensive as an x-ray machine but with a slightly clearer image. This white elephant financially breaks the family, bringing troubles to his relationship with his wife Linda (Thandie Newton), who leaves him and moves to New York where she has taken a job in a pizza parlor. Their son Christopher (Jaden Smith) stays with Chris because he and his wife both know that he will be able to take better care of him.
Without any money or a wife, but committed to his son, Chris sees a chance to fight for a stockbroker internship position at Dean Witter, offering a more promising career at the end of a six-month unpaid training period. During that period, Chris goes through a lot of hardship personally and professionally. When he thinks he is "stable," he finds that he has lost $600 when the government takes the last bit of money in his bank account for taxes. He is rendered homeless because he can't pay his rent. He is forced at one point to stay in a bathroom at a train station, and must scramble from work every day to the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, which offers shelter to the homeless. He must leave work early every day so that he is there by 5:00 in the evening along with his son so that he may be assured of a place to sleep. He is seen carrying his suitcase to work because he doesn't have a home. At work, there are nineteen other candidates for the one position.
One day, he is called into an office and in it were the heads of Dean Witter. Chris thinks that he is about to be told the job will not be his as he says that he wore a shirt and tie for his final day. Then they tell him that he has been an excellent trainee and that tomorrow he will have to wear his shirt and tie again as it will be his first day as a broker. Chris struggles to hold back tears. Outside he begins to cry as the busy people of San Francisco walk past him. He rushes to his son's daycare, hugging him and knowing that after everything him and his son had been through things would be all right.
The final scene shows Chris walking with his son down a street. His son is telling him a joke, when a wealthy business man in a suit walks past. Chris looks back as the man continues on. The man in the suit is none other than the real Chris Gardner.