Joy is a 2015 American semi-biographical drama film, written and directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy (loosely based on Joy Mangano), a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire.

If you read the synopsis or watched the trailer, the movie doesn’t seem that exciting at all.


A story of a family across four generations, centered on the girl who becomes the woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Facing betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, Joy becomes a true boss of family and enterprise. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy’s inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces.


I mean, a story about the invention of a mop, a housewife inventor and television shopping, these are stuff made for daytime soap operas targeted at…. bored housewives.

Nonetheless, I was drawn to catch the movie by the enigmatic Jennifer Lawrence and the talented director/writer, David O. Russell, of the biographical sports drama The Fighter (2010), the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and the comedy-drama crime film American Hustle (2013) fame. Plus, there is Robert de Niro playing Lawrence’s onscreen dad.

Robert de Niro as Joy's needy daddy

Robert de Niro as Joy’s needy daddy

The movie started off a little slow and it took a while to get to liking the lead character and the assorted, colourful family members and friends surrounding Joy. However, once you get into it, it was a pretty uplifting ride all the way.

You will laugh and cry along with Joy, following her failures and successes.

Laugh with Joy

Laugh with Joy

Cry with Joy

Cry with Joy

This movie plot is fictional, but yet you know in real-life, there is a real Joy Mangano who built up a S$3 billion dollars business empire in a similar, but less dramatic way. Life is wonderful if you live for every moment like Joy; even if you have been dealt with a shitty lot in life to begin with.

The real Joy Mangano

The real Joy Mangano

This is a recommended first movie to catch in 2016 and hopefully it will inspire us all to aspire more in life and live it to the fullest.

By the way, for her stellar performance in the movie, Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 2016 Golden Globes.

Joy is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it!