By SARAH DROGHEO, Staff Writer
Imagine that you are a single mother of two trying to raise your children, manage your parents’ divorce, manage your own divorce, figure out how to pay the mortgage, all while holding down a job and trying to stay sane. Meanwhile, you’ve been dreaming of something big. Something that could completely revolutionize homes all across America and even the world. You’ve always been a creator, a “builder” per se. You may have felt like you gave up on your dreams long ago, but you know that this idea has to come to life. You know from the depths of your being that this will change everything. If you are this woman feeling this way, you are Joy Mangano.
Joy is a semifictional comedydrama film which was released on Dec. 25. It stars Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, Robert De Niro as Rudy, and Bradley Cooper as Neil Walker. This film walks us through Joy’s life as she tries to patent and sell her invention, the Miracle Mop: the world’s first selfwringing mop which has a detachable and washable mop head.
The story takes place in the early 1990s in an Italian American family. It is unapologetically raw and real, which can be quite refreshing for those of us who are sometimes exhausted by Hollywood’s never ending search for more glitz and glam. Joy is not only about the creation of a new product, but the creation of a character into her fullest potential. It features themes of coming-of-age and loss of innocence.
One common complaint among critics is that Lawrence is a miscast, being 10 years younger than Joy Mangano was at the time. However, this does not end up being an issue as Lawrence is able to seamlessly adapt to the role and be a truly authentic actress. As the genre indicates, it is an inspirational drama with bursts of humor placed in just the right spots.
Thus, if you enjoy dramas, comedies, inspirational movies, and movies based on true stories, you will likely appreciate Joy. If you are searching for a classic yet unique film to see at your next stop at the movies, I’d encourage you to give Joy a try and enjoy the down-to-earth tale of an underdog rising to greatness.