I am so full of Happy Happy Joy Joy. After all, it is the Christmas season, and you know what that means?
That’s right! It’s time for a David O. Russell movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
I can’t even remember a time when Christmas was without these two somehow in my life. And for the most part, I have enjoyed it each and every year.
Wait, what’s that? 2014 didn’t give us our JLaw BCoop reunion movie? Oh that’s right. That year was supposed to be Serena. But it got shifted around and wasn’t a good movie. Let’s forget 2014. Those were dark times. Probably because someone other than David tried to use them. That must be it.
I assumed this was a revenge action flick based on only seeing this picture pre watching.
Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) used to have it all when she was a kid. She had a loving mom (Virginia Madsen), a dad (Robert De Niro), and step or half sister Peggy (Elisabeth Röhm). It might be a step sister, I don’t know. She loved to invent and create and let her mind flow. Then their parents got divorced. She now had a mom who stayed in all day to watch Soap Operas, and her sister went full time with the dad, who she only saw some of the time.
Now she had to take care of her mom and her head can no longer float in the crowds.
Seventeen years after the fact, things were going to change. Yes, she had two kids. Yes, she was divorced with her ex, Tony (Edgar Ramirez) was living in her basement. The only sane one in her life was her grandmother (Diane Ladd) and our lovely narrator! And of course her best friend is still around to help, Jackie (Dascha Polanco).
Let’s cut to the chase. This story is actually about Joy Mangano, a real person. She invented the mop that was super absorbant, able to be thrown in the washer, and with the handle to twist and wring water out of it. How she got there, and how she became the queen of HSN? Well, that is this story.
Also featuring Bradley Cooper as a QVC exec, Isabella Rossellini as a rich widow, and Isabella Crovetti-Cramp as Young Joy. And no, she didn’t get there by killing her competition.
Although every good picture for the movie wants to confirm the revenge killing spree thing it seems.
Joy was a lot more different than Russell’s previous few movies. It started slow and took a long time for “the point” of the film to be shown. Again, going in blind, it just seems like this Joy girl has a messed up family and people are mean to her. But she is nice, so people continue their meanness.
Literally. If you like seeing unfortunate things happen to Jennifer Lawrence for 45 minutes or so, you will love the intro. But when Cooper appears, things seem to change. Yes, she still gets shit on occassionally, but not as much. Hell, a scene near the end had me filled with controllable rage over her circumstances. So in that sense, yes, Joy elicits emotions out of you and you might get pissed off.
But at least we know there is a happy ending, because she is super famous and well off now. Journeys can suck though.
This film felt full of women power. All the men kind of suck in some way, with only two male characters actually being helpful in the end. But most of the men just try to screw her over along the way. But Joy prevails.
During the film, Cooper’s character makes a big deal about a person’s hands. With hands working on TV, it is easier for the viewer to imagine the hands as their own. Once they imagine using the product, they are more willing to buy it. That is when a viewer will realize that throughout the film, before and after the scene, they do a lot of close ups of hands before we find out about the person themselves. Some subtle point there, and honestly, I am not sure what it is. But it was definitely interesting.
Joy is different. Joy is weird. Joy is overall entertaining, it just takes awhile for the hook to really sink in.
3 out of 4.