I know, I know. What's up with all the Will Smith posts these days, Ty? Hopefully this will be the last one for a few since that brother really doesn't need any more free publicity (especially from such a globally recognized blog as this one) but I did want to give a quick heads up about his upcoming movie 'The Pursuit of Happyness' which drops December 12th. I caught the trailer yesterday and then did a little digging into the true story portrayed in the movie and I found them both moving and compelling - hence I'm passing it on to my trusted Malonites....
In the movie, Big Willy plays Chris Gardner , a single father of a toddler who goes from being homeless to a multi-million dollar stock broker and now owns his own Chicago based brokerage firm. The amazing leap from sleeping in transit station restrooms to big money boardrooms is enough to get anyone to sit up and take notice, but in this case, the real amazing part of the story (besides the fact its been out for several years now and my slow a$$ is just getting to it...) is the strong bond Gardner has with his son and his willingness to do whatever to care and provide for him. *That* story, particularly within the southside nation, is one that needs to be told and retold until it takes strong root.
In a clever casting move, Big Willy cast his own young son Jaden 'Little Willy' Smith as Gardner's son, Chris Jr. so the chemistry between them is genuine (as you can see in the trailer). I'm just wishin' someone would get that little homey a hot comb to tame his doo, but I guess they wanted to get that authentic 'homeless, jacked up doo' look - which they achieved very well.
Gardner's personal story reminds me a bit of the 'Antwone Fisher' story where he joins the Navy to escape the hood and abusive/unreliable parents. But Chris Gardner takes personal improvement to a whole new level - a level that has him enjoying the perks of the rich and famous as well as rubbing elbows with (among many famous others) my favorite financial shorty in Chicago, Mellody Hobson - President of Ariel Capital Management. Check her bio out too - that's a high powered sister who's always doing it big.
You can check out an excerpt from his book of the same name (In Pursuit of Happyness - intentionally misspelled to reflect how he saw the word scrawled on the wall of his son's daycare center) to get tips on how you too can go from homeless to stacking major paper. Might be a good holiday gift for all the homeless folks you meet on the street instead of that same dollar or fiddy cent you drop in their cup when you're feeling the holiday spirit. If you're feeling really good - do both, y'all, cuz if *this* brother could once be homeless - that ruckus can happen to any one of us.
Gardner's future ambitions include possibly selling his lucrative business and moving into entertainment and motivational speaking. He wants to shape a career (and ostensibly build an empire) similar to that of billionaire shorty Oprah Winfrey and reach back to help others similarly effected. After reading more about his personal story, I wouldn't put any of those moves out of his reach. His story really is extraordinary - read it for yourselves and tell me I'm lyin'.
*Big ups* to Big Willy for helping bring this story to the masses. I expect it to do big holiday box office business when it drops. Feel good stories around the holidays normally do...especially the true ones.