Friday, December 25, 2015


Plot: Joy is the story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), who invented a mop, endured a difficult ramp-up process, and tries to sell her stuff on TV. Joy needed to borrow money from family, cope with sick relatives, screaming kids, a divorce and a trouble-some father. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Joy is an estrogen-soaked success story that emphasizes perseverance, and high school aged girls should especially see it.

The script-writer emphasizes the hardship in Joy's life, and at times she is like the biblical hero Job, with everything going wrong repeatedly. It is humorous how terrible things are in a sitcom sense.

The biggest shortcoming is that the script feels concocted to create these frustrating experiences for Joy -- no one's life is really like this. The unreality breaks the dramatic tension. There are intentional situation comedy moments from the co-stars especially De Niro, who is almost a clown of a father. Jennifer Lawrence is in a drama, and the co-stars are in a comedy like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The highlights are all emotional turning points for Joy: Joy goes through a wringer, but it creates great moments for Jennifer L on screen. Definitely worth an Oscar nomination.

Even though there is a big cast of co-stars, only Bradley Cooper and Isabella Rossellini are something special.

Joy has its moments. I liked it, and I am glad I saw it. 

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramierez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Maden, Isabella Rossellini

Directed by:
David Russell

Written by:
David Russell; story by Annie Mumolo 

The Music:
Several good songs from Mexican folk to classic rock. 

The Visuals:
The only good visuals are of Jennifer Lawrence in different poses. For example,  drawing with crayons or sitting at her desk at the end.

3.0 stars: A showcase for Jennifer L. The overall movie is only OK. It gets some points for a positive message especially for girls and young women. 

More: Which Joy is better Jennifer Lawrence's, or Amy Poehler's in Inside Out?

Clearly Jennifer -- she should get an Oscar Nom. On the other hand, Inside Out is the better movie.

Joy Mangano and Jennifer Lawerence
Even More: Here is a photo of the real life Joy, who invented her mop at age 33. More here.


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