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Jennifer Lawrence plays Joy, a woman with a tendency toward creating things who invented the self-squeezing mop and became a successful with it after demonstrating it on QVC. The movie is mostly focused on how she became successful with this first product; she apparently now has over 100 patents to her credit. I have very mixed feelings about the movie. I am skeptical when I see that a movie is “loosely based” or “inspired by” true events, as this one is. Jennifer Lawrence is great as Joy; she is the highlight of the film. It is also an inspiring story about a self-made and highly successful businesswoman. Her family is rather wacky and has some vile characters – her dad and her sister for starters. I never quite connected with the family or really understood them as people. There was not a lot of character depth, and I never understood exactly why she stood by them so closely and for so long. Portraying a family like this requires very clever comedy, and with some exceptions, I did not find the family dynamics to be very funny. In the end, the movie felt to me rather emotionally disorganized. I can only give it a very tentative thumbs up; if it weren’t for the solid performance by Lawrence, there would not have been much of a movie. (2015; 2.5 stars)

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