Earlier in the week I saw JOY, and I’ve been thinking about it off-and-on since — but not in a good way.
JOY is the Jennifer Lawrence-starring film about a woman who invents a new type of mop, and despite her truly awful family, manages to sell it on QVC — the setting is the early 90’s — and eventually becomes a hugely successful entrepreneur. The plot itself is compelling, and Lawrence is entertaining and believable in the title role, as she tends to be in almost all of her movies.
No, what makes this movie so frustrating to watch is the rest of the characters. With the exception of Joy, her grandmother, ex-husband, and the bigwig at QVC who eventually lets her sell her product, I loathed the rest of the characters. They — “they” largely consisting of her family — use and belittle her, treat her continuously like crap. And she just takes it. I understand that, for narrative purposes, there need to be obstacles in the way of her achieving her objectives. But c’mon: must that require we hate 90% of the film’s characters in the process
About an hour into the movie, as Joy’s fortunes are starting to change for the better, I whispered to my sister, “I hope at the end she never talks to any of her goddamn family again.” Honestly, Joy could snapped in the middle of the film, and spent the second half hunting down and killing her family off one by one, and I would have been cheering.
The ending is satisfying, but her family was still alive as the credits began to roll, so I won’t say it was a happy ending.