Review: Joy by David O. Russell

tumblr_nrjacqvhoo1sjpbxoo8_r1_540I was desperate to get my hands on the screenplay of Joy since it’s my all-time favorite movie. I consider it to be a favorite both for its inspiring story and the impact it left on me.

Joy tells the story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and, in the process, recovers her childhood magic and finds her place in the world.

It features incredible relationships between families, friends, and very distinct and different women. I hold this movie very close to my heart, the impact it made on me (and my mom) will forever stay with me.

And so I decided to share my favorite quotes and scenes featured in the screenplay:

“YOUNG PEGGY
You need a handsome prince. That’s what you need, a prince.

YOUNG JOY
No, I don’t need a prince. This is a special power. (Holds paper bird magically aloft.) I don’t need a prince.”

“RUDY
You know what you are? You’re like a gas leak. We don’t smell you, we don’t see you but you’re killing us all, silently.”

“TONY
Maybe your dreams are on hold for now.

JOY
That’s a nice way of putting it.”

And this next scene is one of my all-time favorite scenes between Joy and her daughter:

Upstairs, Joy runs the bath.

CHRISTY
Lauren Wells said you were a cleaning lady and sell used mops.

JOY
Lauren Wells said that?

She pulls Christy’s sweater over her head.

CHRISTY
Yeah, and it really hurt my feelings.

Joy brushes Christy’s hair to the side.

JOY
First of all, even if I was a cleaning lady, so what, there’s no shame in hard work. And second of all I’m trying to sell a new mop, not used mops. And third of all don’t, don’t take any guff from anybody. You know, don’t let it in. I know it’s hard.

Christy and she share a stare together.”

“JOY
One small thing. I’ll surprise you.

NEIL WALKER
Okay, surprise me.

Joy closes door and Neil waits patiently.

What would be the small thing that she changes?

Joy opens the door again, looks at Neil unblinking with her hair half down, now dressed in a white blouse and pants.

What? You undid the whole thing.

JOY
This is me.

NEIL WALKER
This is you? You’ve got on the exact same outfit you had when you came in here.

JOY
I wear a blouse and I wear pants. That’s who I am. I’m want to go on as me.”

I love her for being and believing in herself.

“CHRISTY
Mimi said you’re the one born to help carry the family to success.

JOY
(irritably)

No, Christy, Mimi was wrong. The world will not give you opportunities, the world will destroy your opportunities and break your heart. I should have listen to my mother when I was ten years old. I should have spent the rest of my life watching TV and hiding from the world like my mother. So I don’t want to hear any more about Mimi. She was wrong, she had her head in the clouds and it was full of stupid ideas and it gave me stupid ideas. Like this, stupid, stupid idea.”

Jennifer Lawrence executed this scene on screen with such excellence and fierceness and despair written on her face.

And the next moment she shared with the man who almost stole her business rights from under her was one of the most powerful moments for me. Joy’s strength is ineffable.

“DALLAS MAN
We’ll pay you back all the royalties you paid us.

Joy stares steadily without moving, says nothing.

I’ll give you twenty-five thousand on top of paying you back the fifty.

Joy looks down, brushes her lap off, then looks out the window into the light outside.

Okay. I’ll give you fifty thousand on top of paying you back the fifty.

Joy turns her unflinching gaze from the window back to the man across the room. She says nothing.

Plus interest.”

This taught me that silence can speak volumes, which I consider to be one of the most important lessons.

“GRANDMA MIMI
(voice-over)

She put up with just about anything, until when she had to bring the hammer down. She brought the hammer down. You don’t become a boss without learning how to do that.”

The beauty and power of that line stopped me cold.


Joy was, to put it bluntly, a life-changing experience for me and my gratitude for it continues to be galaxy-sized.

Also, I loved that the screenplay featured stills from the film:joy-1-bookspoilsjoy-2-bookspoilsjoy-3-bookspoilsI also had to listen to this beautiful song on repeat:

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Joy, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

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