Review: JOY

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-

There are some people who have great ideas and run with them, yet others do nothing but daydream about the things that are possible. Joy Mangano, an entrepreneur known for her invention of the self-wringing Miracle Mop, did not become an overnight sensation, but her life and that of her family is what inspired a story by Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) and writer/director David O. Russell and it became a screenplay he penned for the feature film he directs, Joy.

In this biographical film, it is inspiring to learn the ups and downs faced by someone with a creative mind who wants to succeed in business, yet the struggles she faces are also within her family of four generations where so much is expected of her on a daily basis. The story is great and so are the performances by cast in several Russell films, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. I am also impressed by the performance Édgar Ramirez has in this film, as the Venezuelan born actor has been in feature films such as Zero Dark Thirty and The Bourne Ultimatum, yet not as prominently as in Joy.

Joy Mangano (Lawrence) is a divorced young mother trying to make ends meet and lives in Long Island with several family members, among them, her mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen), her very supportive grandmother Mimi (Diane Ladd) and her ex-husband Tony (Édgar Ramirez) who resides in the basement. Joy seems to face one issue after another – almost back to back – when her job at an airport counter comes to an end and her father, Rudy (Robert De Niro), begs to move in when he is not doing well, although he is divorced from Terry.

Thankfully, Joy has a very best friend since childhood, Jackie (Dascha Polanco), and that bond is what carries her through the roughest of times. Two of the many tough times are with her bitter half-sister Peggy (Elisabeth Röhm) and her father’s new girlfriend, Trudy (Isabella Rossellini) when financing her new business venture.  I loved a great scene towards the end where the two discuss her invention.

Without spoiling too many of the scenes and Joy’s story as told by these filmmakers, some of the favorite scenes are when this entrepreneur is inspired and persistent in believing in her invention, especially with TV executive Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) and the people who initially did her wrong.

This film has a Golden Globe nomination for the category Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Jennifer Lawrence received a nomination for Best Performance By An Actress In a Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy. These are two very good indicators that it is a film you don’t want to miss when it arrives in theaters on Friday, December 25th and I do recommend it.

Source: Golden Globes, 20th Century Fox

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