Sue and I went to River Cinema 15 Saturday to see “Joy,” starring Jennifer Lawrence as the title character. The story sounded kind of interesting, but after Lawrence was nominated for this year’s Best Actress Oscar, the movie became a must see. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro having roles in the film didn’t hurt either.
Thinking about the movie a day later, I realize I was left with several lingering thoughts…
Family, family, family… We all have roles within our larger family, and there is enormous pressure to stay within these roles. Joy role is caregiver, and everyone demands that she attend to each of their individual needs, often at the same time! The picture did a great job of enacting the whirlwind life of this poor creature as she struggled through one crisis after another. Caring for her children was one thing, but the demands placed on her by her parents made me feel anger and frustration.
Change frightens people… Joy is divorced from her husband, but he still lives in their basement. Neither one is prepared to move on even though it’s obvious that their marriage was a disaster. Joy’s parents are in the same boat. They can’t handle being in the same room, but they can’t seem to live without each other either. Her sister Peggy is accustomed to being the smart child and it seems as though her main purpose in life is making sure everyone is aware of Joy’s many failures. I found Peggy to be one of the most loathsome characters I’ve come across in some time! Joy’s father, played by De Niro, was nearly as despicable as his daughter Peggy. The things he says about Joy, his own daughter, as he tries to persuade her to file for bankruptcy broke my heart and made me want to reach onto the screen and punch his lights out!
All it takes is one positive influence in your life… Even though Joy’s entire family doesn’t believe she will ever amount to anything, her Grandmother’s kind words are what eventually gives her the strength to rise above it all and succeed. Joy also had the blessing of one awesome friend that always seemed to give her just the right lift when she needed it the most. Everyone needs that one special friend in their life who will stick with them through thick and thin!
It’s a dog eat dog world out there… “Joy” presents the business world as a cutthroat place of epic proportions! Joy was simply looking for a break, but person after person used her, took her money, and cheated her out of everything she worked for. The movie is a nasty, nasty indictment of corporate America. It wasn’t until Joy quit looking to others for a break and instead took matters into her own hands that she finally succeeded. I’m glad that “Joy had somewhat of a happy ending.
I thought “Joy” was somewhat depressing with a few moments of enlightenment thrown in. Sue viewed it generally more uplifting and really enjoyed the historical nature of the film. I thought Lawrence was good, but enjoyed her performance more in “Silver Linings Playbook.”