You wouldn’t think the story behind the invention of the self-wringing mop would be all that interesting but as it turns out, it is.
BQB here with a review of Joy.
SPOILER ALERT – the movie’s less about the mop than it is about the burdensome road one must go down in order to achieve a dream.
Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) started out as a very intelligent child, dreaming up new inventions in her room. She assumes life will be great but as the years go on, she eventually finds herself divorced, caring for her kids, her elderly father (Robert DeNiro), her mother who hides from life by watching soap operas all day (Virginia Madsen), and ironically, her ex-husband who she’s still friends with (Edgar Ramirez.)
Bradley Cooper rounds out the cast as the QVC executive that gives Joy her big break during the television shopping industry’s infancy.
“I feel like I’m in a prison” sums about how she (and most people feel) when they’re stuck in a rut. We all have dreams but day by day, as the time ticks off the clock and the day to day struggles of earning a living preoccupy our time, those dreams fade away.
Supposedly, we’re all free to do as we please but when you factor in all the obligations of life, the average person is not free at all.
The pressure to throw your hands up, forget all about your dream and just live out a boring, hum drum existence is strong – for Joy and well, let’s face it, for us too.
But when Joy cuts her hands on a mop filled with broken glass, she develops the idea for a self-wringing mop, one that you can wring without even touching the mop head.
Sounds simple enough but once she goes into the mop making business, she quickly learns the downside to following her dream. The path to success is not easy. Price gauging suppliers, crooked businessmen, mounting bills, and family jealousies all stand in her way.
Is that mop that interesting? No. But watching the movie is an exercise in self-forgiveness. We all have our own self-wringing mop, that pie in the sky idea we always wanted to follow.
But we also have people who depend on us, financial woes, etc. Forgive yourself if you aren’t living the life you wanted. Most people aren’t.
There are many times in the movie where Joy has the chance to give up and walk back to the hum drum life or double down on her mop making enterprise, potentially pushing her deeper into debt and misery if it doesn’t work out.
Many people in her shoes would have given up and, at least from my perspective, the message of the film is that you should forgive yourself if you didn’t pursue your dream because at the end of the day, the deck is stacked against you.
Living a realistic boring life doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you normal. On the other hand, if you follow Joy’s lead and keep plugging away at your dream it may very well come true.
FYI – Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Joy. At the time, I assumed it might have been a case of Hollywood blowing smoke up J-Law’s butt (I like her a lot but is there anyone else out there deserving of accolades since she’s already had so many?)
Turns out I was wrong. She was very deserving of the nomination. Joy made me laugh. She made me cry. She made me visualize myself in her shoes, this damn blog with 3.5 readers as her self-wringing mop, and all the people telling her that her mop is dumb as the people telling me this blog is dumb.
Eh. They’re right. This blog is kinda dumb. I should just quit and go eat cookies.