I loved this film. I wasn’t sure if I would love it at first, but I did. Will Smith plays a father who is determined to be a father to his son. Unfortunately he made a bad investment that is costing him his marriage and dragging him down financially. But instead of running out, he continues to dream about finding “happiness” in doing something he loves and is good at, and in being able to provide security for his family. When the opportunity to intern as a stock broker for Dean Whittier presents itself, he seizes the opportunity to change his life, but you don’t know until the end if it will finally bring him to ruin or turn out to be the answer to his prayers.
In a day when dads are constantly portrayed as unnecessary or bumbling idiots, this film was like a breath of fresh air. Will Smith is tender but tough, troubled but hopeful. Although there are a few objectionable elements, like a few strong words, some very sad images, and mature themes, I let my two oldest boys watch this because I felt it was important for them to see a dad who rejected the failings of his father and determined to be different by putting his family first. I also wanted them to realize that as difficult as things sometimes seem for us, God has been very gentle on us. I want them to have compassion on the plight of others, and movies like this are one way I feel I can expose them to some of the extreme difficulties others face, while still protecting their innocence to some degree. Even though the story could have been very sad and discouraging, Smith’s constant determination, enthusiasm, and the extreme, sacrificial love for his son are inspiring.
I’m an easy target for movies that are able to capture the feelings of being a single parent with all its demands and frustrations, and this movie did an excellent job of that. But I also loved the strong themes of family commitment, of pressing on under humbling circumstances, and of pursuing happiness not in money, but in doing your best and being all God created you to be.
For a more thorough review I would suggest you check out PluggedIn Online.