The Pursuit of Happyness
Trite and Vapid
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
Here's a vapid holiday movie: Down and out dad keeps son while he tries to gain employment at Dean Witter by joining the unpaid internship program. All the charm of Will Smith as a bright but sometimes dimwitted bone density scanner salesman in 1981 in pricey San Francisco couldn't put up two people in a cheap motel for even a night in that town. How mom could let this cute kid go to an underachieving father and how he could sell out his stock of scanners after making a good case for their uselessness are just two of the plot holes in a film that makes a strong case for his fiscal incompetence.
Smith underplays with a script already undernourished. Because this is holiday time, what do you think? Will Will make it? I don't know except from the ample trailer because the last reel of our print went upside down, leaving me with a deadline and 20 more minutes to go.
The plot is trite, even if "inspired" by true events, such as the hero's ability to solve the Rubik cube in record time. Maybe a film about a cube championship would be more exciting. As it is, I don't want to see the ending anyway. The story up to that point wasn't worth telling, so what's the point in seeing Hollywood spin it out of reality?
Let's lace the nog with rum and forget art at its most mediocre.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's "It's Movie Time," which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com