Liberty at the movies: Joy

Want to celebrate this week's historic Audit the Fed Senate vote by taking in a pro-market movie? Try Joy, the latest from director David O. Russell.

Joy is based on  the real-life story of entrepreneur Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop, Hugable Hungers,and many other products. Cable TV viewers will no doubt recognize Mangano form her numerous appearances on QVC and the Home Shopping Network.

At the  movie's beginning, Joy (played by Jennifer Lawrence who has been nominated for an Oscar for this role) is an underpaid airline reservations manager struggling to care for her two children, her estranged parents (her mother has withdrawn from the world and stays in her bedroom all day watching TV), and her ex-husband with whom she remains on good terms.

Joy's life is changed by a an outing on her Dad's new girlfriend's boat. While mopping up a red wine spill, and repeatedly cutting her hands, Joy comes up with the Miracle Mop. The rest of the movie details Joy's struggles--including with members of her own family who (with the exception of her  ex- husband)  undercut her efforts at every turn, even though her father's girlfriend puts up the initial capital for Joy's businesses.

Joy is in some ways the mirror image of Lawrence's last movie: The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games told a story of authoritarian government and warned against putting our trust in leaders who claim to want change when all they really want to change is who holds the reigns of power.

In contrast, Joy celebrates how the free-market enables individuals to literally go from rags to riches by producing products that improve the lives of their fellow citizens. The Hunger Games reminds us of what we are fighting against, Joy reminds us of what we are fighting for.




Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF