When JLaw, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro are on screen together, we have a feeling it’s going to be a hit. So, did the critics agree?
Joy is directed by Silver Linings Playbook‘s David O’Russell, and we know that he works his magic with the trio that I like to call #Jenoopiro. Yes, that’s the combination of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. This time, they’re focusing on a story loosely based on the life of QVC icon and Miracle Mop inventor, Joy Mangano. So, is it a must-see this holiday?
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If a “Eureka!” moment in the history of the household cleaning industry seems a less-than-intuitive premise for a mainstream feature film, rest assured that Russell has stretched this heavily fictionalized material about as far as it could go, though he stops well short of the screwball delirium and emotional liftoff he achieved in his recent string of triumphs. Despite another solid performance from Jennifer Lawrence, anchoring Russell’s sincerely felt tribute to the power of a woman’s resolve in a man’s world, it’s hard not to wish “Joy” were better — that its various winsome parts added up to more than a flyweight product that still feels stuck in the development stage.
Feels more like Silver Linings than American Hustle (which is good), but a transcendent Jennifer Lawrence performance can’t quite clean up all of the movie’s messes. It’s a miracle Joy works as well as it does for as long as it does. (I’m sorry. I know. But it’s sitting right there, so I had to take it. It gets marginally better from here, I promise.)
New York Post
An exuberant and grittily determined Jennifer Lawrence hoists David O. Russell’s “Joy,” a manically screwball-ish comedy-drama loosely based on the struggles of Joy Mangano, the housewife who invented the Miracle Mop and became a home-shopping superstar. Lawrence, who at 25 is about a decade too young for the role, gives the kind of big, Golden Age-movie-star performance rarely seen these days. Her decisive portrait of female empowerment cuts through narrative bloat and fussy direction as if they were so much waxy buildup.
In telling the story of the woman who invented the Miracle Mop, director-writer David O. Russell, who co-wrote the story with Annie Mumolo, gets off to a wobbly start, builds to a wonderfully satirical middle and ends with a whimper. So, should you see Joy? I’d give it a shot. The invigorating talent of the man behind The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle still shines, even in this uneven muddle.
Will you see Joy over your holiday?