I had Will Smith in the original aborted 30 for 30. At the time I said I was referring more to the character he played in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air tv show more-so than Willard Smith the actor (yeah that's right Willard is his real name). That all holds up. Everything I said about making every personal interaction with others a free performance is a lesson I wish I paid more attention to today. It's very "carpe diem," and "you never know how much time you have with the ones you love. " Both are sentiments that absolutely saturate the lead up to a 40th Birthday.
I don't think I have seen any new Will Smith Movies Since 2011. But upon reflection, 2 previous Will Smith Movies have had outsized impact on me. No, its not Men in Black. Or Shark Tale.
Or the legend of Bagger Vance (Which I have never seen, for the same reason I never saw Robin Willimas Win an Oscar) and it's Not I am Legend, which I have also never seen because I am afraid of zombies.
The first movie is Hitch, which I own and have watched many times. Hitch inspired the dream in me that I could somehow combine my Bachelor's degree in advertising with psychology and become some kind of highly paid personal consultant. This is what ultimately motivated me to go to graduate school and remains my current unspoken ambition that replaced my previous unspoken ambition to play college basketball.
The 2nd Movie is The Pursuit of Happyness, which I have only been able to see once, because every other scene makes me cringe. I mean it caused me physical pain to watch. It basically plays on all of my deepest insecurities and most harrowing fears. And it came out at exactly the time I was studying for the financial advisor series 7 and series 63 exams, just like Will Smith's character in the movie does. Except I can't solve a Rubik's cube to save my life, and in the movie, basically solving that Rubik's cube was the key to the entire characters success. That Rubik's cube idea is a true theme from the life of Willard Smith. He was accepted into MIT, but didn't go because he had a little rap tour to do with his buddy DJ Jazzy Jeff. In interviews he often talks about what energizes and inspires and motivates him is seeing people roll up their sleeves and really working hard. I'm pretty lazy, and I feel bad for people who are working hard. So really the whole movie, and its premise, and the themes running thought it, is just a big old shame-fest for me. I guess it is good to have that all summed up in one place that you can point to. Saves time in therapy.
And of course, if it wasn't for Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, there would probably not be nearly as much of Alfonso (My name is not Carlton) Ribeiro, who is the only celebrity of any kind that I follow on social media. I love that guy.