This feel-good tale was based on the autobiography of the real Chris Gardner, an entrepreneur who struggled with being homeless for a year, and later became a highly successful broker.
The movie ramps up the feels by way of a minor fib though: Gardner wasn’t an unpaid intern at the stockbrokers, he got $1,000 a month. He didn’t go bankrupt selling bone-density scanners (though he did sell medical supplies). Also, his son – in the movie played by Jaden Smith when he was still super cute – was 2, not 5, and didn’t live with Gardner for several months during his internship.
5. Good Morning Vietnam
Robin Williams’ uplifting (kind of) war movie (kind of) was based on the experiences of Adrian Cronauer, a DJ in Saigon on Armed Forces Radio Service. Williams improvised most of Cronauer’s broadcasts and got an Oscar nod for his trouble, though the truth was a bit less exciting, according to the real Cronauer.
“The movie is much more interesting than the experiences I had. Robin Williams is very funny. I’m not,” he said.
He also didn’t get kicked out of Vietnam as the character does in the movie. He just left when his tour of duty was over.
Great movie – shame lots of it is nonsense. “Jus primae noctis” (where the lord of an estate can take a woman’s virginity on the night of her wedding) isn’t a thing – there’s no hard evidence it ever existed.
Nor did kilts. No one wore them in the 13th century. Isabella of France never met William Wallace, certainly didn’t have an affair with him, was only 3 years old during the Battle of Falkirk, and didn’t have a kid until seven