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JOY Movie Review: A Love Letter to Women

 Joy Movie Review:  Jennifer Lawrence

Rarely does a film leave an impression, but JOY starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro and Edgar Ramirez, is a very inspiring movie about an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things despite the negative voices around her. David O’Russell’s JOY is a love letter to women who often have to fight twice as hard as men in this life.

Based loosely on home shopping star and inventor Joy Mangano’s rags to riches story, JOY follows the path of a hard-working mother and daughter who puts aside her own entrepreneurial spirit to take care of her dysfunctional family who all live in one house, including her ex-husband Tony (Edgar Ramirez), her divorced parents, two children and grandmother who inspires Joy to do greater things.  The broke, divorced and single mom feels she was meant for something more, and comes up with the idea of a self-ringing mop. Her path to success is often derailed by her own father (DeNiro), half-sister and male business men, but she’s got the drive and persistence. She changes her own future by not settling for defeat or the constant “no’s” from her family and the business world. Watch Trailer

Joy Jennifer Lawrence RobertDeNiro EdgarRamirez IsabellaRosselini

As usual, Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is nearly perfect as the long-suffering wife, mother and daughter.  Lawrence can do no wrong, and while only 25 - the young actress can play any age convincingly. It's another powerful role that should earn her more accolades.

JOY captures what it’s like being a real woman. Hollywood often glosses over women’s roles in movies and television with one-dimensional portrayals. Joy represents the business woman, the mother, the loyal daughter and a single mother. Director David O’Russell masterfully shows how these different roles can often conflict and make it much harder for a woman to be successful at life. Traditionally, men sacrifice less than a woman when a family is involved. It’s much easier for a man to get up and go for work-related purposes where as for women - it’s frowned upon when a woman puts her career ahead of her family. The matriarch role and business woman often conflict which is presented here beautifully.

Another obstacle in JOY are men. The business world is a man’s domain, and Joy is taken advantage of as a business woman including by her own father. Joy becomes successful once she decides defeat is not an option and stands up to the business men including Bradley Cooper’s home shopping executive.

Joy Jennifer Lawrence BradleyCooper

While we may see Charlize Theron playing a badass in Mad Max: Fury Road or a Gal Gadot as a super heroine in the upcoming Wonder Woman, Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy and women like that are the real wonder women of the world.

Russell could've certainly presented a melodramatic story, but he balances the drama with comedy to bring a compelling story. On the outside, Russell’s JOY may seem like the story of an ordinary woman, but once you sit down and watch it, you may leave the theater feeling inspired to do greater things with your own life.


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