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Saturday 2 January 2016

Mop Trouble

L parkruns at Forest Rec this morning while I take a break having done my fifth parkrun of the year only yetserday. Totally exhausted. I chuck balls on the Rec instead which means MD is so knackered afterwards that we get a second consecutive ball free day at home.

In the afternoon I listen to the top of the table clash between Middlesbrough and Derby which Derby sadly lose late on. Yet again Sky TV have passed up on the obvious and not televised this game, preferring instead to catch people by surprise by choosing the most obscure Championship fixtures they can.

In the evening we head to Broadway.

You would perhaps think that making a film about the woman who invented the Miracle Mop wouldn’t be a very good idea? Well, you’d be right. However we didn’t know this before we saw the film ‘Joy’ with its stellar cast, well respected director and hints of award nominations in the offing. So perhaps they’d somehow woven a silk purse out of a sow’s ear (or whatever the saying is)? Nope.

The film is based on the life of Joy Mangano, she of the mop. It reunites the director and half the cast of the decent ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. It also seems to reassemble almost the same dysfunctional family. Actually this one takes dysfunctional up several notches. In this Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) has to deal with a houseful of kids only some of which are children.

Always an inventor at heart Joy creates her mop and tries to sell it on QVC. It’s initially a disaster when the salesman messes up his sales pitch but the mop gets the blame. Then QVC head honcho Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) reluctantly allows Joy to promote the mop herself. Cue instant success.

Unfortunately Joy is being shafted by her parts supplier and every sale of the mop is losing her money. Her unsympathetic dysfunctional (but seemingly rich) family want the money they have lent her back and financial ruin is just around the corner.

If the focus has been more on the financial shenanigans behind this story then we might have been onto a more interesting film because after an irritating ninety minutes that lead us to her bankruptcy, Joy tracks down the gangster who is head of the parts company. In a brief two minute meeting with a man we've never seen on screen before she hits him with a load of information that we haven’t been party to and that we haven’t seen her collect but it is such powerful stuff that it makes this man back down and give her all her money back. That should have been the film. Unfortunately by then we no longer cared as we all just wanted to get our coats and go home.

What we are left with is a film where both the plot and script are very weak. If Lawrence is going to continue to complain that top female actresses don’t get paid as much as top male actors then her first move should be to get herself a new agent. Plus if she wants to be a feminist and make a film about female empowerment, this isn’t it. 

It turns out this was barely Mangano’s story anyway. The real the Joy Mangano went to university and had a degree in business administration. I hope they’ve apologised to her.

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