By Mr. Ngaihte (29 Mar 2010)
In 1981, in San Francisco, the smart salesman and family man Chris Gardner invests the family savings in Osteo National bone-density scanners, an apparatus twice as expensive as an x-ray machine but with a slightly clearer image. This white elephant financially breaks the family, bringing troubles to his relationship with his wife Linda, who leaves him and moves to New York where she has received a job in a pizza parlor. She wishes to take their son Christopher with her, but Chris refuses because they both know that Linda will be unable to take care of him.
Without money or a wife, but committed to his son Christopher, Chris sees the chance to fight for a stockbroker internship position at Dean Witter, offering a more promising career at the end of a six month unpaid training period. During that period, Chris goes through a lot of hardship personally and professionally. When he thinks he is "stable," he finds himself $600 poorer when he is notified that the government has taken out that last bit of money he had in his bank account for his taxes. He is rendered homeless because he is unable to pay his rent. He is forced to stay in a bathroom at a train station and then he is seen scrambling from work every day to a place called Glyde for people who are homeless. He has to leave work every day so that he is there by 5 in the evening along with his son so to be assured of a place to sleep.
He is seen carrying his suitcase to work because he doesn't have a home. At work, there are nineteen other candidates for the one position. Chris Gardner is also especially talented at solving a Rubik's cube. One day, he is called into an office with the heads of Dean Witter. They tell him that he has been a good trainee and ask about him wearing a shirt. Chris responds that since it was the last day he felt he should wear one. This was a reference to his initial interview when he showed up with a t-shirt and jacket because he was just released from jail for unpaid parking tickets. The head of the firm asks him to wear a shirt tomorrow, because it will be his first day as a broker. Chris struggles to hold back tears. His eyes well up and he shakes hands with the partners. He leaves the conference room and grabs his stuff and goes outside. Here he begins to cry as the busy people of San Francisco walk past him. He rushes to his son's daycare and grabs and picks him up, holding him, knowing that everything is going to be all right. A brief scene follows explaining the achievements of Chris Gardner.
After the accolades are presented, the final scene shows Chris walking with his son. His son is telling him a joke, when a man in a suit walks past them. Chris looks back as the man continues to walk on. The man in the suit is the real Chris Gardner.