Director Julie Shies utilizes personal insight and poetic storytelling to craft a thoughtful story of a young woman, her family and reality TV. Joy Levine is a little shabby and rough on the outside, yet filled with joy on the inside. One day she signs up to be a candidate on a TV show, GOTTA BE HAPPY. To her astonishment, she is chosen to throw a surprise party for her parents on live TV.
But, there will be a price to pay: she has to let the viewers into her private inner world and reveal an event that has been overshadowing her family's life for 22 years. With forgiveness as the theme, the show will be aired just after Yom Kippur. Joy needs to get all her parents' friends together to conduct the reconciliation. Unfortunately, reality keeps getting in the way. With Joy taking the lead, for once someone is leading the Levines to a better place.
Joy is a heartbreakingly unforgettable character and the rapturous Sigalit Fuchs is pitch perfect in her depiction. The film is a masterful work from a director who has the uncanny ability to encompass the endearing and the bleak, the innocent and the contemptible. With richly drawn characters, Shles captures and intensifies the joys and pains of modern life-as seen on TV.