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Joy.

Before I start the actual assigned portion of this blog, I just want to say this because it’s kind of poetic in a way and I don’t know where else to put it, but I just feel like I need to say it: Senior year is kind of like a box of chocolates; there’s some really good moments in there and there’s some really bad ones, but it’s mostly just a lot of bittersweet ones that you try to enjoy because you know that it’s your only chance before they’re all gone.

While sulking in the depths of boredom and emptiness during the recent winter break, I ventured to the movie theatre in Tiffin, Ohio, willing to see any movie to distract me from my boredom, but hoping for something to inspire me to get over this slump. I had already seen two other recently released movies, and given that this movie theatre in the middle of nowhere didn’t have a whole lot of options, I chose to see Joy. Joy, although a drama, kept me on the edge of my seat through the entirety of the film hoping that the underdog would succeed.

Joy, directed and written by David O. Russell, is loosely based on the story of Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire. The part of Joy is played by Jennifer Lawrence flawlessly, although it could be argued that Lawrence is too young for the part of a worn down, divorced, single mother. After enduring the pain of divorce, supporting her entire family including her two young children, ex-husband and divorced parents under one roof, and finding a dog collar she invented at one time, Joy decides to begin inventing again. Although her detached mother Terri (Virginia Madsden), robust father Rudy (Robert de Niro), and jealous sister Peggy (Elizabeth Rohm) detest the idea given that the family can barely afford to pay their bills, Joy’s grandmother Mimi (Diane Ladd) encourages her. At this point in the movie, there is a sense of dissonance in viewers as they can sense the tension rising between the family. However, the entire family soon follows suit and Joy begins production of her Miracle Mop in her father’s car garage using nuns and people from a Hispanic church for labor. David O. Russell, following his normal trend of pairing Jennifer Lawrence with Bradley Cooper as he did in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, casts Bradley Cooper as Neil Walker, an executive at QVC that helps launch Joy’s success.

Although I initially despised certain characters and aspects of the movie, the character development that occurs throughout the movie as Joy asserts herself as a business mogul changed my mind about any initially negative thoughts. Not only does the movie Joy keep audiences on their toes as Joy hits obstacle after obstacle, it also acts as a way to showcase the power of women in business. If you’re looking for a movie to keep your mind busy and to motivate you at the same time, look no further than Joy.

 

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