I don’t go to many movies. Considering it costs almost $20 for the three of us to go to one, it’s something I don’t try very hard to fit into my budget. And we get such an indecent number of movie channels on our digital cable package so that I really can’t justify it that often. StepSon goes a lot, though, so he usually picks what we see, because he’s usually seen everything that I want to see, and I absolutely will not pay for him to see a movie twice. Call me the hard-nosed, cheap-skate stepmother from Hell (you wouldn’t be the first), but there you have it.
So last month, we went to see The Pursuit of Happyness.
First of all, let me say that I hated Will Smith’s hair in this movie. It was horrible. He’s still a hotie…but this hairdo made him considerably less so.
And his son, Jaden, completely blew me away. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, he’s got the talent coming at him from both directions. (And in case you’re wondering, his hair was…very big for a five year old).He didn’t play an “I’m-so-cute-don’t-you-just-want-to-pinch-my-cheeks” role, and he didn’t play an “I’m-a-five-year-old-so-I’ll-have-a-tantrum-every-ten-minutes” role. He was just a real-live-honest-to-goodness, one-minute-I’m-happy-one-minute-I-want-candy” kid.
The movie made me uncomfortable, but that was something that I had a hard time acknowledging, because to acknowledge that is to have to admit that I know there are people all over the world who have to make those kinds of decisions every day while the hardest thing I decide some days is whether to wear gold or silver earrings with my blue sweater and black skirt. Deciding that a bathroom in a subway is the safest place for your son to get a night’s rest is not even on the same level. And somehow, knowing that the movie has a happy ending didn’t make it any easier to watch scenes like that.
But perhaps one of the best things that I can say about this movie is that it is still making me think about it three weeks after I saw it. And that’s really why I’m writing all this down. I still find myself wondering what kind of choices I would have made if I were in that position (or those positions). My stepson didn’t like this aspect of it. His take was that he goes to the movies to escape from reality, not to watch it unfold with no escape (because the hard-nosed, cheap-skate stepmother from Hell won’t let you leave until you’ve gotten every penny’s worth of money from your movie ticket.) But I told him that he’s never had a reality like that. And chances are that he’ll be lucky enough that he’ll never have to witness the parts of the world that DO live like that, unless he makes a deliberate effort to do so.
In the end, the movie was good. Not stellar. Definitely long in parts, but the closer you get to the end, the better it gets. And it won’t surprise any of you who have ever been to a movie with me to know that I cried, even though there really aren’t any surprises along the way in the last 30 minutes or so. The emotions were real, and that was all that mattered to me. And I think the closing scene was probably my favorite part of the entire movie.