The invention that changed everything

Image via Twentieth Century Fox
Image via Twentieth Century Fox

‘Joy’ movie review

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist


Based on a true story, Joy shows Joy Mangano’s (Jennifer Lawrence) journey from flight attendant to inventor of the Miracle Mop. Along the way, she has disputes with her product manufacturer about the costs of making the Miracle Mop and her patent, she tries to get the word out about her product on QVC with the help of Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper), and she spends time with her father, Rudy (Robert De Niro).

The film is narrated by Joy’s grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd), which gets interesting in the second half of it. David O. Russell, who wrote and directed the film, uses his style to recreate the environment of Joy’s wintery neighbourhood. Joy is the breadwinner in her family because her invention makes her a lot of money, which she uses to pay off her mortgage and meet her family’s needs. Even when she demonstrates the Miracle Mop on QVC, she still acts like herself and comes across as a relatable, everyday person.

Lawrence did a great job playing Joy in the film. She sings when she does a musical with her soon-to-be husband, Tony (Edgar Ramirez), and she speaks Spanish when she teaches her factory workers how to make the mop. Although Cooper has a smaller role in the film, he works well with Lawrence again. De Niro had some great lines in the film that made the audience laugh. In the film, Melissa Rivers portrays her mother, Joan Rivers, who was a famous personality on QVC with her jewellery collection.

Occasionally, there are 1960s-styled zoom-ins when action happens. The soundtrack has a combination of songs from the 1970s and today despite the film taking place in the 1990s. For example, an Alabama Shakes song is heard when the Miracle Mop becomes a bestseller on QVC.

The film is also very informative about business of selling a product, covering aspects such as investing in an invention, protecting your design with a patent, and inventory. It also shows the early history of QVC, which was newly launched around the time the film takes place. QVC would go on to inspire other shopping channels like HSN and the Shopping Channel.

If you like this film and want to learn more about selling an invention, watch Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, and Beyond the Tank.