Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pursuing Happiness: A (What?!!) Movie Review

I'm interested in happiness.

I've taken a course in happiness.

I've participated in a happiness study.

I've read lots of books about happiness. Lots.

And now I've watched a movie about happiness. So just move it on down the road, book bloggers, if you wish, but I'm about to post my first first movie review, a review of the movie Pursuing Happiness.

Adam Shell and Nicholas Kraft spent two years seeking out and interviewing four hundred of the happiest people in America. Pursuing Happiness is the result.

Shell and Kraft talk to the mayor of a Cajun city in Louisiana, a man who lived with a tribe on the Amazon for two years, a woman with cancer, a man who lost his hands when he was thirty, a fellow who creates little gardens of beauty in his big city, two men who make benches for tired people waiting for buses.

These happy people are mesmerizing. They zing with joy. They are alive. They make things. They scuba dive. They hug. They laugh. They are a sharp contrast to the usual Dr. Phil sort of folks you see interviewed.

Shell has had lots of time to think about the wonder of these people. What is their secret? he asks.

"What struck me most about the happiest people in America is how normal their lives are. The secret to happiness, then (if you can call it a secret) is how to face tragedy without allowing fear to cripple us. And how to do that? Well," Shell says, "that is what I learned from the happiest people in America."

What is it that keeps us from being happy?

"For it is fear that is the true enemy of happiness. When we do not let fear consume our thoughts and dictate our actions, happiness is right there waiting for us," Shell tells us.

This isn't a Steven Spielberg movie. There is a typo or two and the occasional odd camera angle and that annoying glare on people's glasses here and there. There aren't any special effects and nothing blows up. But it is a movie with a huge heart, a movie that has important things to share with the oodles of folks out here who just can't seem to be happy as well as with those of us who'd just like to be a teeny bit happier.

Here's a short preview:

Where can you see the entire movie? Check the website for more information.

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  1. I hadn't heard about this -- thanks! It's right up my alley.

    1. Yes, happiness is one of the things I'm most interested in.

  2. Replies
    1. I saw a little post about it online and contacted the producer. I've never done that before.

  3. A movie review on a book blog!!!????!!! What are you thinking? :P

    Just kidding. Very nice and we'll definitely have to seek this out.

  4. Delightful preview! Now I want to see more. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. You are definitely pursuing the right things in life! Great review and great post.

  6. Great review and thanks for sharing! There is more to life than just books... I think ;-)

  7. This sound so inspiring! I enjoyed the preview, thank you for sharing.

  8. Sounds fabulous! Definitely worth checking out- thank you for sharing it with us. :)

  9. Sounds really good Deb and I would certainly go and see it if it showed here in NZ. We need more of this kind of movie.


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