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Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) is in a dead-end job, with debt up to her eyeballs. She shares a house with her divorced parents, her grandmother and her ex-husband. She decides something has to change, so she comes up with an idea for a new product and launches her own business.
She invents an easy-wringing mop and produces 100 mops using her own financial banking. She tries to sell them to stores, but doesn't have much luck until she contacts the QVC shopping network. They agree to promote the mop, but it fails miserably, through no fault of Joy's. She realizes she has to keep struggling for success, using enormous resourcefulness to finally get her product on the market.