While this is by no means the perfect movie, I went in wanting a good cry, and I got one. As anyone who has watched a movie with me knows, I cry very easily when the emotions are buzzing around. I’m a sucker for it, but I can often resist the cheap schmaltzy emotion.

So, I got a great cry in at the end. Curious looks of fellow movie-goers aside, I had a great time.

The good: it was a wonderfully emotional and pretty-to-look-at movie. There was a great deal of the intense emotion without the my-veins-have-been-ripped-out raw emotion. The music was great. There were funny, sweet, heartwarming moments. Another good point: sociologically, it’s great to see lead characters that aren’t white. Will Smith seems to be the leading man that is changing the typical predominantly white movie. There were main characters that were white, but the majority of characters weren’t. It was refreshing, and felt less cookie-cutter.

The bad: there are some unanswered questions. A lot of background and exploration of the different characters was sacrificed for scenes on the relationship between Ben Thomas (Will Smith) and Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson). Yes, their relationship was important, but she is a character new to Ben Thomas’s life, whereas his relationships with his brother and his best friend were not adequately explored. More in-depth background on these characters, and the rest of the seven that Ben was helping, would have made a larger impact at the end.

The verdict: Watch it if you’re in the mood for something emotional and not too light nor too heavy. Yes, there are cheesy bits, but it’s to be expected. It’s a romantic drama for goodness sake. But it’s not so sweet it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

My rating: 7
IMDb’s rating: 7.6

Directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness, L’Ultimo Baccio)
Starring Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness, Hancock, Independence Day) and
Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Josie and the Pussycats)

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