NOT DAVID O. RUSSELL’S BEST WORK, BUT IT DELIVERS ENOUGH DRAMA AND EMOTION TO KEEP AUDIENCES ENGAGED FROM START TO FINISH!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B (3 stars)
20TH CENTURY FOX
Jennifer Lawrence brings the story of Joy to life as Joy
From director, David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) comes his third collaboration with hot young actress, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games franchise, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) and incredibly charming talking raccoon with an American Sniper and a Hangover, Bradley Cooper (The Hangover trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy, American Sniper), Joy, based off the true events of Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire after creating the Miracle Mop. When I first saw the trailer of the film, I was very curious to see it, after all David O. Russell already won me over with the critically acclaimed The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence is one of Hollywood’s newest sweethearts, after proving herself with the critically and commercially successful Hunger Games film franchise as well as O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, it’d be impossible for this to be bad, when these two dynamic talents are behind it.
And I was right, though I don’t think it stands as tall as Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle, but I can pretty much sum it up in two words, it’s good. I don’t think it’s Oscar material or anything like that, but I’m glad I saw it, David O. Russell’s direction shines through and Jennifer Lawrence is a powerhouse here and more proof that she doesn’t need a bow and arrow and the ability to inspire a revolution to be badass in films, she can just have a pair of sunglasses and a fancy mop and still be just as badass.
I’ve never heard about the actual story of Joy until after hearing about the movie, though after watching it, I’m curious to read about the factual event and see how the film represented it. As cinematic entertainment, the film is shot beautifully with lots of winter colors and since it is Christmas, I think I made an appropriate choice seeing this.
The film follows divorced mother of two children, Joy Mangano (Lawrence) who builds her successful business empire through four generations after inventing a device that will change the world forever, the Miracle Mop. A plastic mop with a head made from a continuous 300 feet loop of cotton and can easily get wrung out without getting the user’s hands wet, not to mention the head of the mop can be removed and thrown into a washing machine and it’ll come out sparkly clean.
She shows the mop to an executive of the TV shopping channel, QVC named Neil Walker (Cooper) and agrees to sell it. At first it doesn’t go very well, but in time the numbers rise rapidly in Joy’s journey to becoming a millionaire as well as changing cleaning supply shopping forever.
Overall, Joy is a fine addition to David O. Russell’s filmography, while it’s not really Oscar worthy, the film is definitely worth checking out for anyone who knows the actual story of Joy, and any fans of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, two of my new favorite actors together once more.
It’s nice to see Jennifer Lawrence off to a solid start after The Hunger Games success and hopefully she’ll star in more films that will be just as successful, and I’m always down to seeing her and Cooper together in a David O. Russell film. She’s basically what you’d get if Kristen Stewart was a good actress.
Not sure how accurate the film follows the true story, but from other reviews I’ve read, it tackled most of what happened, and possibly sometime soon I might read deeper into the actual event and compare the film and the true story. But as a David O. Russell film starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, Meet the Parents, Silver Linings Playbook), it’s good and should be worth your time, just don’t expect a truly powerful film that will change your point of view on films.
But if you want something informative and entertaining, as well as being strong on character and drama, you might be filled with “Joy” with this movie.