Joy Film Review

January 18, 2016

Joy is the wild true story of Joy Mangano and her Italian-American family across four generations, centered on the woman who founds a business dynasty by inventing the Miracle Mop, becoming a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen. Like David O. Russell's previous films, Joy defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love.
 (via IMBD)

Joy as a story doesn't sound great, does it? A lady makes a mop? How is that meant to inspire me to part with my hard earned cash and take time out of my day? I mean, it's a mop!?! Yet still the trailers interested me, the first one having a backing track so catchy I found myself humming it when it wasn't blaring out of a cinema screen at work, the second one piquing my interest in something that typically I should have no interest in. But that's the beauty of film, isn't it? Being able to see things from other peoples' perspectives whilst also learning things about yourself along the way, being able to critically think about other people and what their needs are in their environment in relation to yours... and that's what Joy means to me. 

Joy focuses on Joy Mangano, a single mother of two whose life revolves around everything but inventions, the one thing that kept her imagination going at a young age. Long story short, she has an epithany whilst asleep on a set of stairs a la Cinderella, and decides to make a mop that, after a lot of heartache and upset, she will end up selling thousands of on the TV network QVC. 

Although the film may be based around a single household object, it signified so much more than that to a wide eyed eighteen year old who still doesn't know exactly where she's going in the world. From the humorous interactions between Joy's mother and father, to the upset and subsequent meltdown that happens later in the film, I felt a uncomprehensible feeling of inspiration every time the scene changed. It was like this film was made for me. Looking at Joy's life, I watched wide eyed as I compared it to my own and vowed to do something.

Though the film is in no way similar to Mean Girls, my reaction was exactly the same as watching that seriously for the first time - at the age of 10 years. Ten years old and slowly growing into a world I didn't truly understand yet was unwillingly flung into, sat in a living room gazing at a screen as the things I thought I could never put into words came to life in front of me. And that's how I feel about Joy. It's the film that's going to guide me through life for the next few years, until I see something else that blows the glass ceiling of my brain to smithereens as I try to hop, skip and jump through my twenties. 

Joy Mangano was a normal lady from a normal (ish) family who lived in a normal neighbourhood but achieved something extraordinary. And as I sat and watched the end credits roll for the third time in as many weeks, I've vowed to do something extraordinary too and to never give up, because by not following my dreams, I'm hiding away like a cicada - and seventeen years hiding is seventeen years too many, as Joy realises in the film. 

This review isn't really much of a review - more of a thought process, as I begin to scramble down my feelings of a film that has truly changed my life whilst trying not to sound like a total dick. Maybe I did choose to go and see it partly because of who was in it (yes, big Lawrence fan girl here) but that's not the reason I'll see it again and again, as even three weeks after the original viewing, I still can't stop thinking about what I witnessed, as if it was an epiphany. And I think that suggests to you my true feelings of a film you need to judge yourself. 

You can watch the trailer of Joy here: ~~trailer~~
You can read a better thought out review of Joy by a TPF1138 (Tumblr) here: ~~review~~

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