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Joy (2005)

Muchrachim Lehiyot Same'ach (original title)
Joy Levine lives in an old apartment that, in complete contrast to her, is shabby and worn-out on the outside while well-kept and filled with joy on the inside. Her life changes when she ... See full summary »


Julie Shles


Omer Tadmor
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Sigalit Fuchs ... Simcha
Tal Friedman ... Gil
Dorit Lev-Ari ... Maya
Keren Mor ... Nora
Alexander Senderovich Alexander Senderovich ... Reddy
Eliran Caspi Eliran Caspi ... Noah
Rivka Michaeli ... Haya
Yossi Pollak ... Yitzhak
Michal Yannai ... Tamara
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roni Eltar Roni Eltar
Shiri Golan ... Seller in clothing store
Maya Harel Maya Harel ... Child in the mall
Yonathan Harel Yonathan Harel ... Child in the mall
Omer Kirshenbaum Omer Kirshenbaum ... Shimi's daughter
Assaf Leviah Assaf Leviah ... Maya's boyfriend


Joy Levine lives in an old apartment that, in complete contrast to her, is shabby and worn-out on the outside while well-kept and filled with joy on the inside. Her life changes when she auditions for a TV show called "Gotta Be Happy". To her astonishment, she is chosen, and her mission is to throw a surprise party for her parents on the upcoming show. However, there is a price to pay for all this: she has to let the viewers into her private inner world and share with them an event that has been overshadowing her family's life and hers for the past 22 years; an event that made a tight-knit bunch of friends shun her parents, Chaya and Yitzhak Levine. The show is to be aired right after Yom Kippur, and the theme is forgiveness. Joy must get all her parents' friends to the party in order to conduct the reconciliation. However, reality keeps obstructing her efforts. The idyll expected from such a show is jeopardized by a string of events that threaten to shatter the already fractured ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fictional reality show | See All (1) »


Comedy | Drama

User Reviews

"Gotta have Joy"
28 October 2006 | by friedtSee all my reviews

In this paean to determination and sheer exuberance, Simcha, the title character of Joy, embarks on an attempt to reunite her parents with their estranged friends on the occasion of their upcoming 25th anniversary. She is aided in this effort by the glamorous but ditsy star of a reality TV show called "Gotta be Happy." The delightful Sigalit Fuchs lives the role of Joy as a younger Camryn Manheim, before Manheim, of The Practice, became permanently ensconced in her hardened bitch goddess persona. With her expressive clown face and eyes and her large body leaning into the wind of disappointment, Simcha survives the ineptitude and unhappiness that threaten to swamp her. She overcomes her married lover's exploitation, her brilliant brother's downfall, her parents' deteriorating condition and relationship, even the rudeness of the family friends she attempts to bring to her parents' party.

This is truly a film about happiness as the script by Omer Tadmor dramatizes Joy's persistence rather than her travails and infuses the stories of the parents and the brother with humor. Julie Shles' direction creates stunning moments of lyricism reminiscent of visually beautiful moments in Fellini's Roma. Particularly noteworthy are the nighttime scenes in the mall, as Joy's admirer, the mime, whisks her about in a magical ride, but the roadside reconciliation scene in the rain between Gil and his wife is also memorable.

The ending offers more poetry but withholds a clear resolution. Despite that, what stays with the audience is the wonder that underlies even mundane behavior and the knowledge that Simcha will continue to draw sustenance from her basic nature. While the translation is unable to convey as successfully as the title character's name does this optimism, the film suggests via their names that the other characters will also head in good directions: Yitzchok, the father, is "laughter," Chaya, his wife, is "life," Gil is also "joy," and Noah and Maya imply peace and contentment. Perhaps that is the point of the romanticized ending—that humanity and humor can overcome hardships and transform harsh reality into moments of flowing enchantment.

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Release Date:

1 December 2005 (Israel) See more »

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Joy See more »

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