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The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Date: Aug 15 2007

Themes: Family, Pop Culture, Work


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Some would say that in the world of huge corporations, the American dream of becoming wealthy through pure hard work is dead. But the fact is, anyone clever and charismatic, no matter how poor they are now, can become rich with enough effort. It takes patience and energy, but even someone didn’t go to college or didn’t finish high school can learn a profession and become successful at it.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  So I just rented that film The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith and his kid. What did you think?

Amanda:  What a tear jerker.

Kevin:  It’s good.

Amanda:  So good. Single dad, working his ass off to become a stock broker even though he has no formal education. Raise his child. The coolest part about it, which not a lot of people know, is Will Smith’s son played his son.

Kevin:  That’s true and I thought he did a really good job. He’s young. He’s cute.

Amanda:  Yeah, I think it’s nice because if you have a child after, you don’t really have that natural chemistry of father and son. You try and portray it, but they didn’t even have to. That was a non-factor. They didn’t have to worry about that.

Kevin:  Absolutely. And I loved the whole rags to riches story, and pulling himself up by his bootstraps. I thought it was really well done.

Amanda:  And the fact that he did study that particular person, spent time with him and made a movie about his life. And, actually, that guy just sold his company and is doing well still to this day.



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Kevin just saw The Pursuit of Happiness, and he asks Amanda what she thought of it. She says it was a really emotional movie. It’s about a father who is raising a child by himself and works very hard to become a stock broker despite being uneducated.

As it turns out, the actors who play the father and son are father and son in real life. Amanda thinks this helped make the movie good because the actors didn’t merely have to pretend to love each other. Another thing she says helped make it a good movie was that Will Smith, the actor who played the father, spent a lot of time with the man story is based on.

Do you know any examples of real life rags to riches stories?



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rosellie jade


ilove to see this movie

03:58 AM Aug 21 2007 |



Any one have aim they can arrive it.

05:09 PM Aug 20 2007 |



Hey chaps,

QUESTION: What does

"child after" and

mean in detail?

Thanks a lot.

02:17 PM Aug 20 2007 |



Hey chaps,
QUESTION: What does
“child after” and
mean in detail?
Thanks a lot.

02:15 PM Aug 20 2007 |

penny liu

penny liu


I did not see the film,but I guess I'll.

12:19 PM Aug 19 2007 |



I like this kind of movie, when man or woman does not give up, and work hard to be reach or have glory. But do not forget the environment, it may will be in your favour or not, whether your are clever, intelligent or educated. The succes related with many factors, some of them we do not know. Be pragmatist human race!!!!


09:46 AM Aug 19 2007 |

king of sadness

Syrian Arab Republic

this is the life day with u …....

and anthor one against u…..

but be strong >>>>>>>>>>>

07:45 PM Aug 17 2007 |




really a good movie….!

 will smith showed a great peice of act.

09:09 AM Aug 17 2007 |



i like the story very much!

04:30 PM Aug 16 2007 |

choi ji woo


hello         Kiss

04:33 AM Aug 16 2007 |



i love to study other languages but it would be nice to have more fun here

09:36 PM Aug 15 2007 |




I love this lesson… New vocabulary, new slangs… Very good!

08:48 PM Aug 15 2007 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

the father of my own friend used to be born in a very very poor family,but things changed,like fairy tale stories,and now he’s tooooo much rich …and i dont think it’s only the matter of being lucky !it’s having a strong determination with a package full of wisdom.at least in this case.this very person always tells me being rich is as easy as being poor,he believes “you are want you really really want to be”.

07:49 PM Aug 15 2007 |




The title is actually "The Pursuit of Happyness".

 I thought it was a great movie!  I liked how they focused on the relationships between the characters and only used the rags to riches storyline as a backdrop.

04:39 PM Aug 15 2007 |

Josh K

Josh K


movie is really beauty.

03:23 PM Aug 15 2007 |




The Pursuit of Happiness is very good movie, but as has been said is tear jerker. Very good lesson as well, so many new words to learn :) THX !

02:24 PM Aug 15 2007 |




I didin't see this film, but I would like and I hope that I will see him soon:)

12:59 PM Aug 15 2007 |



I love Will Smith.Kiss

12:16 PM Aug 15 2007 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

So for the authors of this film, Happiness is being rich ?

I don't think so ! 

12:06 PM Aug 15 2007 |




It is similar to the novel The Great Gatsby who wants to become rich and to gain the love of a particular woman. A man who is poor, and fortunate events turns him into an aristocratic rich man.

09:35 AM Aug 15 2007 |

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