Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
difficulties of being a businesswoman
succeeding in the world of retail marketing
dealing with disappointments
business deals within a family
being demeaned and belittled
the loss of innocence
living in a dysfunctional family
death of grandmother
sister sister relationship
how to handle confrontations
becoming a matriarch
|Featuring:||Jennifer Lawrence … Joy Mangano
Virginia Madsen … Terry
Bradley Cooper … Neil
Robert De Niro … Rudy Mangano
Elisabeth Röhm … Peggy
Dascha Polanco … Jackie
Édgar Ramírez … Tony Miranne
Isabella Rossellini … Trudy
Diane Ladd … Mimi
Drena De Niro … Cindy
Donna Mills … Priscilla
Jimmy Jean-Louis … Toussaint
Melissa Rivers … Joan Rivers
|Director:||David O. Russell—“The Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)|
|Distributor:||Fox 2000 Pictures|
“Joy” is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop.
“Joy” opens with scenes from a cheesy soap opera, that Joy’s mother (Virginia Madsen), is constantly watching. Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is a divorced mother of two and the father of her children (Édgar Ramírez) lives in the basement. After a recent divorce, Joy’s father (Robert De Niro) is forced to move back in with Joy. We flash back to Joy’s childhood as narrated by her grandmother (Diane Ladd).
Young Joy is a creative girl who dreams of success inventing things that the world will love. However, her current station in life doesn’t resemble her once grand dream. Until a chance spill on a boat inspires her to invent “the last mop you’ll ever buy!”
Jennifer Lawrence is overwhelmingly compelling as a struggling mom trying to make a name for herself. Her accent isn’t consistent, but, overall, she is great. Her supporting cast members do an amazing job of keeping the story interesting and adding humor. The plot is a simple one, but directing make you care root for Joy, as her lack of business know how leads to many ups and downs.
There is some foul language and blasphemous use of God’s name. Ruthless behavior in the business world is also portrayed.
While her faith is never discussed in the film. We as Christians can relate to trials and tribulations that are part of our Christian walk. When faced with things like betrayal, anger, defeat and financial woes, we must place our burdens on Christ, and He will carry them. Although it can be difficult trusting every aspect of our life to Christ, it is the only way we can get through those hardships.
As for a recommendation, I enjoyed the film, and if you are interested in her story I would go see it, but be aware of language and other themes.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate to heavy—Oh G*d (1), OMG (5+), God (3), d*mn (2), f-word (1) / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…“Joy” is a joyless exercise… it all feels wrong… a peculiar, disturbing movie, somewhere between a drama without impact and a feel-bad comedy. …
—Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
…nominally a story of perseverance and tenacity over ridiculous odds, but spends much of its time examining the paralysis caused by the myriad vicissitudes and irrationalities of its madly neurotic, self-involved characters. That the film itself is nearly as chaotic as the clan it examines…
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…“Joy” makes it official—Jennifer Lawrence is a real movie star…
—Lou Lumenick, New York Post
…“Joy” is lacking, But Jennifer Lawrence is bliss… The problem isn’t that the scenario is unrealistic: Everything that happens in “Joy” is believable. But Russell fails in the subtlety department. …
—Stephanie Zacharek, Time magazine
…The story is strangely disjointed—a somewhat surreal comedy at first that slowly morphs into a family/business drama. But Russell still shows off his eye for the humorously ludicrous here, and Lawrence and Cooper… are as charismatic as ever. …
—Paul Asay, Plugged In
…an intriguing but weirdly subdued and stylised film starring Jennifer Lawrence – who incidentally achieves new heights of imperious beauty. …this film often feels rather unreal – an unreality that is by turns disconcerting and entertaining…
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…ambitious but flawed story… Despite the convoluted family dynamics, Lawrence makes “Joy” easy to believe and easy to root for…
—Sandy Cohen, Associated Press
…Russell draws his characters as broadly as those soap opera stick figures he’s so eager to mock, and though Joy at least tries to break the standard biopic formula, it’s only partially successful at reconstructing an interesting life.
—Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald
…A riveting, madcap mess—and a lot of fun… A kind of fractured fairy tale with a feminist ethic, Joy is a great story, great fun. It's also kind of a mess, but who's complaining?
—Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer