It’s unfortunately common to see women within film portrayed as afterthoughts or mere love interests to clap the leading man on as he saves the day. While it’s exhausting to see women constantly portrayed as weak sex objects with no capacity for individual thought, once in a blue moon comes a film that reminds people of the endless potential and capabilities that an empowered female holds.
“Joy” takes place in 1950s America, where obsession with creating the “perfect home” ran rampant throughout society. As a result, a woman was seen for only being useful within the house, cooking and cleaning and caring for her kids. However, lead character Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) had a different idea in mind: to build her own business empire, brick by brick without the validation from a man.
Based on a true story, the film is a potent reminder of the power that we all have within us to create something wonderful out of our lives, even when our present reality isn’t too grand. Joy has to deal with an ex-husband, a mother who assumed no responsibility, two kids, loss, shady business deals and the daily struggles of being a single mother and caregiver, but she doesn’t let that get her down. Determined to rise above everything else trying to drag her down, Joy becomes the innovator of the Miracle Mop, a multimillionaire innovator and businesswoman and the matriarch of a four-generation family dynasty.
As 2016 takes its course, films like these remind us of our unlimited potential to change the world. Films like these remind us that you don’t need sexist, misogynistic plots to make a blockbuster success, and that people like to see an empowered female take the lead.