A few years ago, a new phrase burst into our vernacular: “the bucket list,” based on a movie in which two men confront their limitations and prepare a list of things they must do. The list is predictably exotic: skydiving, flying over the North Pole, eating dinner at Chevre dâ€™Or in France.
In JOY FOR BEGINNERS, itâ€™s the womenâ€™s turn to enact that list. On an uncharacteristically sunny day in Seattle, six women assemble to celebrate their friend Kateâ€™s clean bill of health from breast cancer. Unbeknownst to them, right before arrival, Kateâ€™s daughter had suggested an exhilarating white water rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. Her friends urge her on and she agrees to go on one condition: that she gets to choose a challenge for each of her friends to overcome.