Jennifer Lawrence is back at it teaming up with David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper again. This time she is starring in a movie called Joy that comes out on Christmas that has zero to do with Christmas. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they want to go see that “Christmas movie” when it comes out. The movie Joy is actually about a woman named Joy Mangano and the rollercoaster that is her life.
Let me first say that this move is based on true events and does not actually follow the real-life story line for line. Joy is a divorced mother of three young children and she struggles to support a house full of freeloading relatives while working a series of dreary jobs. Among those living with her and the kids are Joy’s divorced mother (Virginia Madsen), who spends her days in bed watching bad soap operas, and Joy’s ex-husband Tony (Edgar Ramirez), who is an aspiring musician. He’s sharing the basement with the newest arrival, Joy’s father, Rudy (Robert De Niro), whose latest wife has sent him on his way.
Rudy eventually meets his latest girlfriend over the phone through a 900 number (remember those?) and she has some money and invites the family on to her late husband’s boat. While on the boat, Joy drops and breaks a glass that is full of red wine and she decides to mop it up. As she is wringing out the mop, her hands get cut up with shards of glass from the wine glass. That is when the preverbal light bulb went off in Joy mind. Joy comes up with the idea for the best mop ever, and with help from Rudy’s new girlfriend, she begins to manufacture them.
The way that Joy is going to start advertising the mop is actually through a contact of her ex-husband. She uses up the last bit of time for the day that a producer for QVC has. Bradley Cooper plays the producer and finally agrees to give Joy an opportunity to sell the mop on the network. Joy is going to learn very quickly what it’s like to be in business for yourself. The rollercoaster has begun.
While the story for Joy is shaky, Jennifer Lawrence does an excellent job in her role keeping this film afloat. Bradley Cooper does a good job in a tiny role and De Niro does a great job in his role as well with some very sharp and witty comments. If you are a fan of QVC or Home Shopping Network, this one might just be more interesting to you as you will see the backstory of someone that you have seen often. For everyone else, Joy might fall short of your expectations and run a little long on your time.