Hidden Meanings Behind the Movie,
"Joy" (Spoilers)

Reviewed by Joy Ramos Davis

Synopsis: Selected by “Conscious Movie Reviews,” “Joy” is a drama about the character's complicated family life and soliciting their help to launch her new business of mass producing self-wringing mops through QVC's telethon sales program on a cable network. By going through "trials by fire," it was for Joy to mature into a financially successful and strong matriarch.

Warning: Contains Spoilers

Groomed to Be the Strong Matriarch

Growing up in a complicated family life, Joy Magnano had her own in-house Personal Success Coach.  Her grandmother Mimi would plant the seeds of love and encouragement so she can grow up to be a successful matriarch.  They had a special bond.  

Many successful people have someone in their corner like Joy's grandmother who would hold the space of their greatest potential so they can unfold beautifully into it.

Through pre-birth agreements called Soul Contracts, a particular individual can be born into a family for the sake of creating balance and order across the generations.  In Joy's case, it's to restore the strong, matriarchal energy that is common in Italian women.  It may have been broken when her mother Terri chose to live a reclusive life, watching soap operas all day.  She was not fit to raise Joy, but groomed her to be the caretaker out of selfishness.

Family Enmeshment & Dreams on Hold

Steeped in family drama, Joy loved them all.  She kept them close - so close that it was a madhouse.  There were her two children to raise, Grandma Mimi who stayed upstairs, a recluse mother in her bedroom glued to the TV, and ex-husband Tony camped in the basement due to unemployment, then forced to share space with Rudy, his difficult ex-father-in-law.

Joy is the classic, dutifully devoted Caregiver.  She was practical, responsible and dependable to a fault.  Her self-sacrificing tendencies came with a cost, having to defer any dreams.  And like the typical Caregiver personality, she would put herself in the victim role, adding to the household drama

When there's emotional enmeshment like this, it's very difficult to develop a strong sense of Self.  Boundaries are either permeable or non-existent, so it's hard to say "no" when family feel entitled to take from you.  They subscribe to the idea of what's yours is mine, becomes ours.

Issues around family relate to the root chakra - an energy center located at the base of your spine.  When imbalanced, it can show up as having loose boundaries with others, unhealthy loyalties to allow family to lean on you too much, excessive people pleasing, blocks in creativity, feeling mistrustful, and lacking in confidence and self-esteem.  There are many methods you can use to balance the energy flows of the root chakra.

Father-Career Issues

Dissatisfied with being a booking clerk for Eastern Airlines, she self-evaluates her life to figure out how it all went wrong.

Chuck Spezzano, the creator of the therapeutic healing method called Psychology of Vision, teaches that when there is career trouble, we're holding a grievance against our father.  The masculine side is represented in our career and father. 

If you were raised to feel unsupported, unrecognized, and misunderstood by your father, it is similar to being attacked emotionally. 

"We can see our father's failure only if, at a very deep level, we wished him to fail...As we forgive our father, give forth to him, our career blossoms and opens up for us," he Spezzano.

The Miracle Mop is Born

As a child, Joy was a budding designer, creating paper cut-outs that was a source of wonderment and power. 

During a boat trip hosted by Trudy, her father's new girlfriend, their glasses of wine spilled on the wood flooring of the deck.  She took the initiative to mop it up for everyone, getting glass cuts on her hands from wringing it out.

The bloody experience sparked her inventive mind to come up with an ingenious, self-wringing mop that was 10 times more absorbent and the head can be thrown in the wash for re-use.  She called it "The Miracle Mop."  Joy excitedly understood the sales potential of her design.  It can be in every household of America.

The mop came to symbolize two things: Joy's need to clean up her own life by letting go of unhealthy emotions and about domesticity as it relates to the work needed to keep her family together.

Running the Family Business

Having Trudy, a wealthy Italian widow, as the financier and building the prototype at her Dad's greasy order shop was fraught with lots of criticism and financial risks.  Even her competitive half-sister Peggy joined in the chorus of discouraging her mop idea.  

They located a manufacturer in California to make the parts for low cost, but had to pay $50,000 in royalty fees to a man in Hong Kong with a similar product.

Joy was convinced that the rewards would outweigh all the risks she's taking on.

As a family business, it was dysfunctional with no built-in support system to ensure teamwork and solidarity.  What can work is if they consciously tried a Communal Business Management Style that is well-suited for matriarchal cultures.  There's mutual commitment and strong common identity.  Everyone shares in the risk and rewards; there's lots of social interaction; and it centers around a role-model, charismatic CEO who develops a strong strategy for the group to contribute to a common goal.  

Selling on QVC

With a prototype mop, Joy sets up her sales presentation in the parking lot of K-Mart on the sly.  She learned that face-to-face marketing this way was a pain.

Luckily, Joy's ex-husband gave her a referral to meet an executive at QVC, a cable channel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that can sell products nationwide through a telethon system.  She was given her first chance by Neil Walker.  He advised her to have an inventory of 50,000 mops that are readily available to sell.

The financial stakes were high!  Joy had to come up with $200,000 for the manufacturer to make the parts.  Taking out a second mortgage was the only way.

On the day of the broadcast, the sales actor fumbled in demonstrating how the mop was used, resulting in no sales.  Fearing bankruptcy, Joy aggressively confronted Neill at QVC, insisting that she demonstrate her own product.  He reluctantly gave her a second chance, resulting in close to 50,000 mops sold.   

Rise of the Fierce Feminine

A turning point for Joy was when her grandmother Mimi died.  While at the funeral, she learned about her father Rudy allowed Peggy to meet with the manufacturer in California.  Without Joy's consent, Peggy agreed to a $2 price increase per unit and gave them a check of $20,000 to close the deal.  This would leave Joy in debt by $1 1/2 million, forcing her into bankruptcy. 

Out of anger, Joy laid down a strict boundary: Peggy cannot make decisions for her business ever again.  She began to realize her potential as a fierce business woman and strong matriarch.

A process of Soul Retrieval can help to get your personal power back.  Practiced by shamans, they believe that your soul should be free to travel and retrieve ancient wisdom and lost power to mend your fragmented self.   

Courage on Demand

Problems continued when the manufacturer was found out that they stole her molds and patent.  No longer putting up with things, she laid the hammer down on the owner of the manufacturer to pay her back for the fraudulent charges or go to court.  He had no rights to her patent.  They settled on the spot in Joy's favor.

Starting from the seeds of encouragement she received as a child, they came to fuition for Joy to become the family's strong and successful matriarch.

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