Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
The film opens with a scene from a soap opera. One woman (Donna Mills) convinces another woman (Susan Lucci) that she needs to be a strong woman. Hands her a gun. Two male actors walk up and add to the scene, all filmed in a master shot from set so you can see how silly it looks when seen this way.
We are told this film is a true story is inspired by strong women everywhere but mostly one in particular.
The films narrator introduces herself she is Mimi (Diane Ladd) who introduces the girls we see playing outside her dad's auto body shop is a young Joy, there is her half-sister Peggy (from Joy's father's previous marriage), and there is Joy's close friend, Jackie. Mimi also introduces us to Joy's mother her daughter, Carrie (Virginia Madsen) who is obsessed with soap operas and Joy's father, Rudy (Robert De Niro), the owner of the auto shop. We also see Mimi for the first time when she tries to instill confidence in Joy despite her dysfunctional upbringing she tells Joy she is going to grow up to be a strong woman, meet a nice man, have beautiful children, and is going to build wonderful things.
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