There’s the thing with autobiographical adaptions, may it be books, comics or movies. It doesn’t matter which media you use, what matters most is the decision f the people who adapt this story wether they want to stick to the story or want to take the opportunity of telling a different story.
In case of Joy – the adaption of the story of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Magic Mop and became successful by doing so – we get a seldom case of a movie where the mix works.
Within the first few minutes of the movie we hear the voice of the grandmother telling the story and we meet every character that will play a major role in the life of Joy. The scenes we saw on the screen reminded me of movies of Tim Burton with a sparkle of Barry Sonnenfeld, kinda strange but when you take a look at the characters who live together with Joy in this house you may agree with me. The mother who is watching television the whole day and doesn’t want to have any male person in her room – by the way it’s funny to watch when a male plumber arrives in the house she visibly falls in love.
I am getting ahead of myself, back to the main story.
Joy is played by Jennifer Lawrence and we see her struggle with the obstacles of her daily life. And a lot that is – she is kind, funny and always caring for her family and friends. We see a woman who gives home not only to her lovely children, her divorced husband but also to her mother, grandmother and her father. She takes care of everything, from accounting issues for her fathers company, the jobs of her ex-husband and more. The possibility that she dies of a heart attack within the first half an hour of the movie is something that came into my mind, honestly. Everything changes when the family is invited to a trip on the boat of her father’s new girlfriend. There it happens that a glass of red wine falls on the floor and she takes care of that – this incident makes her think. She gets an idea of inventing something, asks for investment and goes for it. From this point on the viewer is confronted with a different type of Joy – she is driven, trying to make her life better and each obstacle she faces makes her stronger.
Afterwards I found out that the movie was loosely based on the real story of Joy Mangold and many things were invented but it didn’t make any difference because writers, actors and producers accomplished that every character felt real, that all the obstacles that appeared made her strong. It felt plausible – sometimes a bit too much – but still it gave the audience a feeling that this person on the screen is real. All this made the movie special, fun and entertaining and in the end it gave you something to think about. What’s important in life and what’s with fighting for.