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The Movie Joy: Why is this a Great Movie?
The ingredients of a movie you will never forget
"Joy" is a true story based on the life of Joy Mangano, but the story is only loosely based on her life and career as an inventor of household products, which all started with the miracle mop.
What makes a movie great? What makes a movie unforgettable? I remember thinking about this very question while watching the movie Joy on Christmas day 2015. What made this movie great was the fact that the director created a story of a very depressing real life so very believable and relate-able to the audience which I have rarely if ever seen. You learn the that main character in the movie named Joy Mangano is very smart, finished first in her high school but had to drop out of college to help her father with accounting and her parents through their divorce. Many of us in this life are born into realities like this; a real life that when you are young and dreaming of a better future, that distant future seems to be completely impossible to ever attain because of where you are and what you are facing in day to day life. Part of this of course time honored concept of "the rich get richer" and the haves and the have not's". You are in a position of having to break free of a harsh reality that was given to you because of birth.
How many lives are ruined by lack of money and lack of opportunity? How many people are never able to break out of a life that from birth is largely out of your control and in the control of other people, fate or money. I have seen very few or no movies that created the level of overwhelming hopelessness and feeling trapped in a life that there was no escape from better than the movie Joy.
One day, based on an accident of circumstance of the boat of a rich woman who was dating her father, Joy cuts herself on a mop when she was trying to sweep up some broken glass. Because of one idea about a mop, her fathers rich friend and incredible perseverance after numerous setbacks, Joy was able to break out of the squalor of a divorce from a bad marriage, 3 kids, a half sister and father who is running a failing car repair business and had been divorced 3 times. You wondered during the movie if how much of this "loosely based" true story was true and how much was Hollywood fiction. Regardless, this story was told perfectly and when Joy experienced her first level of triumph during the filming of a QVC commercial, the emotions were overwhelming. But real life doesn't work that way and nothing is easy and after a great triumph like this many more unbelievable and tough challenges were ahead. This is why this movie is great, it showed what its like to try to achieve the impossible and reminded us all what we already know, nothing is ever easy.
Joy also had to overcome the many criminals who came out of the woodwork trying to rip her off when she was selling mops and things were going well. This is another lesson in this movie about the criminals will try to take from you what is yours. In the end she was able to win the battles, but the struggle and the incredible hills she had to climb is what is so great about this movie.
Joy's Father: Infamous Speech
For me the best moment in the movie Joy, or one of the best moments was when Joy's father played by Robert Deniro tells her when things were at their worst that it was all his fault, for making her believe that should could be anything but average or below average and that this is the reason why everything was failing and she was 500 thousand dollars in debt. This is the real message of the movie Joy. If you want to be successful when everything is against you, you not only have to overcome so many obstacles, but you also have to overcome the people around you, who want you to fail and who want you fail because if you succeed then they will feel badly about themselves and their own failures. As the old saying goes, "Misery Loves company".