I usually don't go to movies for the message, but for the entertainment. That's why my friend, Ken, and I went to see, "Let's Go To Prison." It had no socially redeemable value, but it was funny, real funny.
Today, we joined a packed theater complex on Christmas day to see "The Pursuit of Happyness." It was a good story and it had a strong message.
You could go through a couple of full coffee pots unraveling the various messages that you could take from the movie about a working dad with young son who loses his job and his wife in San Francisco. The dad was played by Will Smith and the movie son was played by his real life son, Jaden.
Watching the Chris Gardner character that Smith plays, you are quickly reminded of the real life situations that so many people face everyday, even right here in mid-Michigan. The list would be topped by unemployment, homelessness, business failure, a wife who runs away and every card in the deck that seemed stacked against him.
But, he persisted,never gave up. He took responsibility and didn't blame others for his situation. When a tiny sliver of hope was thrown at him for a good job, he grabbed onto it and didn't look back.
The movie depicted a father-son relationship in all its strength. He took responsibility for his son, was loving, self-sacrificing and served as a reinforcing rod for his young son in a very gloomy situation.
I'd love to hear more about how the movie version of the story matches with the real life version. I'd hate to hear that the real Chris Gardner was a major weenie.
I know from real personal experience that people like that exist. My story has matching components to Gardner's.
My father ducked out and never came back. My mom never gave up. It was never easy for her, but she raised me and she always showed me love unconditionally. I always felt it and never doubted it.
I never knew the son side of the father/son coin, but I certainly have know the father side of that equation. I have always felt a special closeness to my son. I've wanted him to be able to say that he had a dad who was around and who knew and loved him. That has always been an A-plus, plus experience.
Anybody needing a shot of hope during this Christmas season or after should see this movie. It should fill the tank, at leas for a little while, of many who are looking.