Movie Title: Joy
Rating: PG-13, 2 hours
In a Nutshell:
The movie informs you at the beginning that it was “inspired by true stories of daring women.” It’s based loosely on the true rags-to-riches story of Joy Mangano, inventor of the “Miracle Mop” and “Huggable Hangers”, a business titan on QVC and HSN.
Jennifer Lawrence does it best when she plays an underdog with natural talent and hope.
Your heart will sink and soar with Joy as she journeys through the perilous business world. This movie will make you want to take a leap of faith and invent that thing that’s been in your head for years…or hide from the world, watching soap operas all day.
- “Hope springs eternal.” – Grandma Mimi
- “You can’t let the practical get you down. You got to keep moving to what you love.” - Tony (Edgar Ramirez)
- Persistence, determination, hard work, hope.
- “We got here from hard work, patience, and humility. Don’t think the world owes you anything, because the world owes you nothing.” - Joy
Things I liked:
- It’s always great to see Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Diane Ladd, Isabella Rossellini, and Virginia Madsen. It’s impressive how they were able to deliver some of their ridiculous lines with straight faces.
- I love the soap opera that is layered throughout most of the movie. (Director and co-writer David O. Russell should have brought it back in the end.) I especially love that it features the queen of all soap operas, Susan Lucci. It’s cute how it showcases the decades through their clothing and hairstyles. It made me laugh because my mother used to “tape her shows” and watch them every day.
- I liked the comparison of the cicada hiding for 17 years, like Joy did.
- The music gave the movie a magical story feel.
- I love that sisters Joy & Peggy looked like sisters. Nice casting.
- Even Joy’s loved ones put down her ideas, but she never gives up on herself or them. Life keeps pushing her down, but she never gives up. I admire that tremendously, because I’m often too quick to quit.
- I admire how she keeps control of her temper.
- In the scene in Texas, Joy follows a great rule of negotiation: stop talking and let the other guy make the first offer.
- It paints a fairly realistic picture of the business world and how difficult it can be to begin and maintain a successful business.
- Joan Rivers was played by her rea life daughter Melissa Rivers. That must have been so much fun for her.
- Drena De Niro plays Cindy. She is the adopted daughter of Robert De Niro and has played bit parts in several of his films.
Things I didn’t like:
- Jennifer Lawrence is the bright star in this movie. You kind of don't care about any of the other people. They're too over-the-top "characters" to feel real.
- I never like watching families fight.
- Joy’s mother gets sucked into soap operas and spends her life in front of a TV, rather than truly living her life.
- I don’t like it when kids call their parents by their first names.
- The trailer didn’t explain the movie very well.
- Director Russell starts with an interesting style in the beginning of the movie and then drops it completely mid-way.
- While Russell is great at creating damaged characters, they’re often one-dimensional.
- Jennifer Lawrence speaks Spanish a few times, but there aren’t any subtitles. Her accent is pretty good!
- “When someone sees a weakness in me, I turn that weakness into a strength.” – Danica – (Susan Lucci)
- “The funny thing about hiding…you’re even hidden from yourself.” – young Joy (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp)
- “We’re doing an invention.” – Joy’s daughter
“Why?” – Grandma Mimi
“Because we are.” – Joy
“It’s very serious. It’s priorities.” – Joy’s daughter
- “There’s no shame in hard work.” – Joy
- “Everybody starts out with some kind of dream about what life will be.” – Grandma Mimi
Morris’ 4 questions of financial worthiness:
1. Where did you go to high school?
2. Who were you in high school?
3. Are you prepared, within 6 months of financing this venture, to show adequate returns?
4. You are in a room and there is a gun on the table and the only other person in the room is an adversary in commerce. Only one of you can prevail, yet you have protected your business and Morris’ money. Do you pick up the gun?
Tips for parents:
- This isn’t a movie that young children will enjoy or understand very well. Teenage girls may be interested and inspired by Joy’s tenacity to live their dream.
- Some profanity and fighting.