N A V I
G A T E

Home
A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Links
Contact Me

Joy

Director:  David O. Russell
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  1.5

Rags-to-riches story based (loosely) on the life of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives in a home with her ex-husband (Édgar Ramírez), her estranged father (Robert DeNiro) and soap opera-obsessed mother (Virginia Madsen), works as an airline reservations manager and then, suddenly, comes up with the idea for the Miracle Mop (!) - it's machine washable! no touching the grime! - and pitches the idea to the head of home-shopping TV network QVC (Bradley Cooper). Russell's stylistic flourishes (enter: Susan Lucci!) do little to punch up the stale narrative - Joy is so relentless and unflappable it's never without doubt she will succeed no matter what obstacle is thrown at her (she improbably gets a tough Texas businessman to back down, her beloved grandmother passes away), so dramatic tension is all but non-existent. There is also little explanation of Mangano's creative process and no mention of her other inventions - what about those Huggable Hangers? - and rides primarily on Lawrence's charm. Full disclosure: we own a Miracle Mop and it basically works as advertised (if a bit over-priced).

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2019 Matthew Lotti.