Joy

(2015)

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Title:
Joy
Release Date:
24th December 2015
Runtime:
124 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
David O. Russell
Writers:
Annie Mumolo, David O. Russell
Languages:
English, Spanish, French
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

1995. Joy has always been fascinated by creating things, this pursuit always supported emotionally by her maternal grandmother, Mimi. Joy feels that lack of practical support has led to others making fortunes on ideas she had come up with years ago but could not act upon manufacturing. Despite being broke, Joy is the person in her extended family to who everyone has always turned, in the process forgoing her own life, including not having attended college to help see her parents through their divorce. She works in an unsatisfying job as an Eastern Airlines ticket clerk, and lives with her mother Terry who spends all day in bed watching soap operas, her ex-husband Tony, a less than successful aspiring Latino Tom Jones wannabe, and their two children. Added to this mix is her father Rudy, the owner of a failing heavy-duty garage, which is managed by Joy's older half-sister Peggy, with who she has somewhat of a strained relationship, and for which Joy does the books. Sharon, Rudy's latest girlfriend who has just dumped him, drops him off on Joy's doorstep, making Joy's home life even more complicated as Rudy does not get along with either Terry or Tony. Joy begins to feel buried by her life, in the process her childhood dreams of making things seemingly getting farther and farther away. As such, Joy decides to make some changes in her life, and expects the unquestioning practical support of her family. Those changes include manufacturing a new product of her design, what she chooses this time around being a self-wringing mop. That support also includes being able to pitch the idea to Rudy's current wealthy girlfriend, Trudy. Even if she does get to the manufacturing stage, Joy will have to battle the narrow minds of business executives in marketing her product, that is unless she can find a way to get into the homes of the American public in one fell swoop. But nothing is a done deal until the consumer forks out his/her hard earned money for the product and all the legal issues are dealt with. Joy has to decide if she will "pick up the gun" as Trudy asked in their initial investment meeting in dealing with an especially troublesome legal issue.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 56%
IMDb Rating 6.6

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jadepietro 19th January, 2016

Mighty Russell Has Struck Out

(Rating: ☆☆ out of 4) This film is not recommended. In brief: Clean-up in Aisle 4 GRADE: C The usually reliable David O. Russell lets down his fine cast of performers in his latest film, Joy, which doesn't quite live up to its title. Except for a strong performance from its lead, the delightful Jennifer Lawrence, the film remains a major disappointment. The film is loosely based on the true story of inventor Joy Mangano, but the screenplay also written by its director is a mess that needs to clean up its act. The film swings wildly between comedy and drama but never stays long enough to be effective in either category. Joy, winningly played by Ms. Lawrence, is interesting and the actress brings some verve to her role, but all of the supporting characters around her are sketchy and never amount to much more than quirky curmudgeons whose actions are so over-the-top that they never resemble anything remotely believable. The plot: Joy's life is in shambles (but then, so is the script). Living slightly above the poverty level and sharing her household with her dysfunctional divorced parents, Terry (Virginia Madsen), a reclusive soap opera addicted mother, and Rudy, a crotchety self-absorbed father (Robert De Niro) who takes up with a rich Italian widow named Trudy (Isabella Rossellini), Joy's ex-husband, Tony (Edgar Ramirez), who is trying to be a professional singer, Peggy (Elizabeth Rohm), her jealous stepsister, and Joy's two adorable children. Still her creative impulses compel her take action and change the direction her life is taking, which leads Joy to her long- time friend and adversary in business, Neil (Bradley Cooper), who gives her moral support on her latest venture. However, none of these relationships build to any satisfactory conclusion due to the stilted writing and uneven tone of the film. The ending also seems pat and forced as it quickly tries to tie up its loose ends, be they cotton or synthetic. With all of the talent involved, sadly, Joy is a joyless filmgoing experience. Visit my blog at: www.dearmoviegoer.com ANY COMMENTS: Please contact me at: jadepietro@rcn.com

Reviewed by Dr_Sagan 6th January, 2016

Little plots make Little movies...

This is a supposedly "inspirational" kind-of movie based on the life of Joy Mangano a business woman and inventor of home products. As I'm reading this is far from the actual life of Mangano (who, unlike the Joy in the movie, she went to University and has a degree in business administration). It is more like a blend of the stories of other housewives turned to businesswomen (if you can believe that) and contains lots of fictional elements for dramatic purposes. Nevertheless the plot is weak. So is the script. There isn't any actual moral here (like "Try and you will succeed"), and the narration of her grandmother dilutes any of that "moral" with too much "it is your destiny" crap. Soooo, the movie is an empty shell (or should I say Sell, pun intended) but is it fun to watch? No. Not really. The characters (including Robert De Niro's who plays her father, Elisabeth Rohm's who plays her half-sister, Virginia Madsen's who plays her mother and Isabella Rossellini's who plays her father's girlfriend and serves as the initial investor) are heavily unsympathetic. The direction is blunt, the pace uneven (I wont spoil you but the resolution of all problems comes in just a few seconds near the end), the situations unbelievable (like going to the...bathroom and unveil a conspiracy by pure luck) etc. Overall: A blunt movie with weak script and plot. The unsympathetic characters also make this unbearable. Not fun to watch and no true moral in this fictitious sequence of events.

Reviewed by shinna-68429 30th December, 2015

JLaw sold me more than just a mop

I heard that this movie received negative reviews and feedback, so I was pleasantly surprised when I enJOYed the movie as much as I did. There is no denying that the grand appeal to the movie was Jennifer Lawrence's compelling performance. The movie's story itself does not seem like it has much to offer. A poor, overworked woman selling a plastic mop does not sound that thrilling on paper. However, Lawrence takes it up a level to a powerful story about a woman never giving up and making her own opportunities happen against all odds. She takes you on an emotional journey from start to finish. Lawrence has the undeniable ability to make you ache along with her struggles. This can be uncomfortable for the helpless movie-goer, which leads me to wonder if this is the reason so many people had distaste for the film. No one wants to be told that hard work and strong will are not enough to succeed in this world, and, as a whole, "Joy" does just that. That being said, "Joy" still left me feeling inspired. As a young, aspiration-filled woman myself, Lawrence's portrayal of Joy makes me feel like I can take on the world (which is dream that current American society consistently crushes on the daily). Lawrence's deadpan stares as she struts in and out of offices along with her turning point bathroom haircut, confirm that both Jennifer and Joy are a force to be reckoned with. "Joy" also possesses a subtle humor, although many reviews seem to deny its existence. The purposefully over the top soap opera scenes obsessed over by bed-bound Terry (played by Virginia Madsen) are just enough to raise the otherwise dark tone. Lawrence and David O. Russell take you on an emotional journey with "Joy." It may not be the uplifting movie you want this holiday season, but I would argue it is the movie you need.

Reviewed by ozjosh03 27th December, 2015

Joy-less

It's not hard to see why this movie divides people. Some will always find a tale of an under-dog's trial over adversity compelling, no matter how clumsily it's told. And some will find a story about the manufacture of a mop dull, no matter how charismatic the characters or inspirational the telling of the tale. The problem here is that charisma and inspiration are in short supply. David O. Russell doesn't make much of the real strengths of the story. And he can't resist imposing his trademark style on characters and a story that really don't either warrant or suit it. So the characters are more than a little grotesque around the edges; the situations are all heightened, even given an absurdist spin; and the facts are never allowed to get in the way, even when they might actually strengthen the story. So much of Joy is desperately predictable, which makes for dispiriting viewing. And the real moments of surprise or pathos are just so much grist to the Russell mill. Jennifer Lawrence somehow shines through in the lead, and Isabella Rossellini does her best to enliven her scenes, but that's about where the positives end. For the most part, Joy is a tedious mess. While it's a story that would probably never have been told without David O. Russell wanting to enhance it with his schtick, it's a story I wish they'd entrusted to anyone other than David O. Russell.

Reviewed by Pouya Mako 27th December, 2015

Plain boring and horrendous

I started watching this movie with high hopes considering it was the work of David O. Russell (who has made some great movies) and highly praised stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro (my favorite actor of all time), and Bradley Cooper. Unfortunately, after the first thirty minutes or so I lost all my hope... it seemed like a childish movie made by an amateur film-maker! The script was utterly immature. The main message of the movie was female empowerment, a cause worthy of fighting for and to which I say kudos; however, it was represented in the most childish way. Let me give you an example: "You are going to grow up and be a strong, smart young woman. Go to school meet a fine, young man. Have beautiful children of your own. And you're gonna build wonderful things that you do in your room." Sounds like an advice a 14-year-old, obnoxious, recently-turned-feminist girl would give! Furthermore, the story was completely disoriented and difficult to follow. One doesn't even know how time passes in the movie! I mean after Joy grows up there's clearly some significant passage of time, judging from some of the major occurrences (for instance grandmother dying, etc.), yet the movie gives absolutely no information about it. I was also bothered when the narrator of the story died in the middle of the story, nevertheless still miraculously narrated the events after her death... this is what I call 'posthumous narration' -- yep, seems legit! The directing was so horrendous it gave me a freaking migraine! Very rarely one can find a scene in this movie in which the camera is actually stable. I don't oppose to a fluent type of camera movement but in this case it was a continuous, subtle, yet super annoying jerky motion that went on and on and on... Moreover, there are certain scenes in which the acting is incredibly fake. For example, the scene in which Joy walks out of the garage just before releasing her anger by shooting -- never seen this fake of an acting from Jennifer Lawrence before. (I kind of think it's a directing problem though, considering the high level acting Jennifer Lawrence can perform, the director could have and should have repeated that scene) In conclusion, the movie was disappointingly weak and boring. I certainly do not recommend it.