Theatrical Release: December 25, 2015


“Joy” is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.

Dove Review

“Joy” is based on a true story about a young woman (played by Jennifer Lawrence) who believes in herself when no one else, other than her grandmother, does. Joy has been inventive since she was a child and even invented a better dog collar for her dog so it wouldn’t choke the dog like the last one did. She has had a lot to deal with in her early adult life, including being married and divorced, and her ex-husband lives in the basement of her home when her father Rudy (Robert DeNiro) asks to move in, too. He winds up taking the other half of the basement, even though he doesn’t get along with his ex-son-in-law, Tony. Joy’s mother also lives with her, and her mother stays alone in her room all day, watching soap operas. Joy cares for her young daughter, and she works a lot. When she reaches the peak of frustration, playing a referee for her father and her ex and carrying a heavy financial load, she realizes she hasn’t stuck with her childhood dreams. She then creates the self-wringing mop.

Joy patents it with a loan from her father’s new rich girlfriend, Trudy, and goes about marketing it to the public. When a QVC salesman bombs marketing it on TV, due to not knowing how to properly use the mop, she winds up going on the air herself to sell it. She is much better at selling her own product than anybody else, and they sell like hotcakes. Her financial problems are just about solved when she runs into another challenge: the man using her molds to produce the mops in California is trying to cheat her, and soon Joy has to decide if fighting for what she created, and for what rightfully belongs to her, is worth it.

The film features strong performances from Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, and Bradley Cooper. Unfortunately, the use of one strong profanity prohibits us from awarding the movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. It’s a shame, as it came close to receiving the Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: A salesman drops an innuendo about a mop that can be pulled and twisted when traveling on the road.
Language: G/OMG-15; F-1; D-2; Jackass-1; You suck-1
Violence: A woman has a gun in a soap opera; a man tells another man if he touches his microphone, he will kill him; an angry woman shoves a paper in a woman's face at her job; guys shoot beer bottles in target practice; a woman cuts her hand while cleaning up a broken wine bottle, and some blood is on her two hands.
Drugs: Drinking at a wedding reception; champagne; the drinking of red wine.
Nudity: None
Other: A woman remembers her parents splitting up when she was a little girl; tension between characters; sibling rivalry; death and grief.


Company: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 124 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter