Joy

Joy is joyless. There is nothing entertaining about watching Joy and her family of unsympathetic characters make bad decisions. And even when Joy eventually triumphs, it’s not fulfilling in the least because by then you are tired of her.joygallery2-gallery-image

Apparently this is all based on a real person, Joy Mangano. According to Wikipedia, the real Joy is a big deal on the Home Shopping Network and invented the mop in this movie along with a bunch of other stuff. The real Joy is now a multimillionaire and an executive producer of Joy the movie. I didn’t know of her beforehand and in hindsight I would rather have kept it that way. I did not find Joy’s story interesting and it’s certainly not entertaining. The only way I can rationalize this movie’s existence is as an ego trip for the real Joy.

So naturally, I am surprised this is nominated for a Golden Globe in the Musical or Comedy category for two reasons. First, it’s not a good movie. Second, it’s not funny at all. I didn’t laugh once.

joy-gallery3-gallery-imageI’m surprised as well that Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for best actress. I don’t think she gives a bad performance but there’s nothing here worthy of recognition. Joy needed to be a sympathetic character in order for this movie to work, but she’s not. There’s nothing Lawrence could have done to change that, it’s an inherent flaw of the underlying character.  You don’t feel sorry for Joy because she’s letting her family (and ex-family) take advantage of her, so of course her life is shitty.  She keeps letting that happen over and over, and I quickly stopped caring whether she would have a happy ending.  All i wanted after about 20 minutes was for the movie to end.

But because of those Golden Globe nominations, I stuck with it. I felt obligated and I figured Joy must turn around sometime. Well, it doesn’t. Joy is a chore all the way through, which is ironic considering Joy is a movie based around a cleaning product. I give Joy a score of four Miracle Mops out of ten.

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39 thoughts on “Joy

  1. Holly

    I am guessing she makes the big time since the commercial shows her with ultra cool sunglasses vs earlier shots with the librarian-hair?

    No, wait, don’t tell me…

    😀

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Carly

    Unfortunately, I agree with you. This had so much potential to be awesome but ended up feeling like a TV movie. I’m also taken aback by the Golden Globe love it’s getting. Hopefully the people who vote for Oscars will come to their senses and not give this undue praise.

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    1. Sean Post author

      I’m shocked that this is in the running for best picture at the Golden Globes. Was it just written in by people who hadn’t seen it, on reputation alone?

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      1. Carly

        Well, after Crash beat Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and Chicken Little for Best Picture in 2005 I guess anything is possible.

        The sarcastic inclusion of Chicken Little should be indicative of how lowly I regard Crash.

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  3. jhubner73

    Bummer to hear this.

    What did you think of the previous David O. Russell/Jennifer Lawrence/Robert DeNiro/Bradley Cooper collaborations ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’? I loved them both. Just curious if it’s just the story that was lackluster with ‘Joy’. Maybe the real Joy is this painful to be around and the film is just art imitating life too well?

    Regardless, you’re convincing.

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    1. Sean Post author

      I missed American Hustle but enjoyed Silver Linings Playback. Generally I’m ambivalent on Lawrence and Cooper but pro-Russell (mainly due to Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees) and DeNiro (because DeNiro). I do think it’s the story that is the source of the problems here – I think my take would have been the same no matter how good the performances, and none are bad.

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  4. Apple Pie & Napalm

    How many movies had De Niro cranked out this year? You’d think he would stop phoning it in long enough to read the script all the way through and see its crap. I know I lose a ton of calories shrugging my shoulders and sighing every time the trailer runs on tv.

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  5. indiefan20

    I hadn’t heard about this movie until recently. I really like Jennifer Lawrence, but “Joy” seems to be getting lukewarm reception at best; from you and everyone else. Robert De Niro appears to be slipping, I saw on Imdb he’s going to be in a raunchy late night comedy with Zac Efron called “Dirty Grandpa” (not Jackass’ “Bad Grandpa,” mind you, “Dirty Grandpa.” It seems like a movie unworthy of his talent, but hey, that’s just me. At least he was in “The Silver Linings Playbook” to compensate a little. And I adore him as the cross-dressing pirate in “Stardust.” 🙂

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    1. Sean Post author

      I did see a trailer for Dirty Grandpa and yeah, it looks bad. DeNiro hasn’t been picking the best roles lately which is sad to see. Hopefully he can find his Danny Collins in 2016.

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  6. Birgit

    When I heard about this film starring the same 3 that was in that other film that escapes me right now, with the TV ads saying it’s the best thing ever and it’s all about some gal who made a good mop, my resounding feeling was…meh. I will see it…eventually but I think it is probably a typical flick that could be an after school special for grown-ups. Poor girl, single with kids, nobody believes her, life is messed up. She doesn’t give up and one producer or someone believes in her and she makes it big….blah blah

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  7. bp7o9

    Just saw J Lawrence on The Graham Norton Show, pushing this film. She actually impressed me; her performance in The Hunger Games was so wooden I thought she was a real flake. Turns out she’s pretty funny and has a fast mind. Thanks for the tip on this. I won’t bother.

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  8. mitchteemley

    I’d hoped for, well, joy with this one since I loved the last two David O. Russell flicks (both starring Jennifer Lawrence). Ah, well. No artist produces a masterpiece every time. Happy New Year, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. calensariel

    Oh dear… My bff asked me to go with her Tuesday night (discount night) to see this. Sounds like a waste of even $5… Now how do I tell her no? I know! I’ll send her the link to this review!

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  10. Liz A.

    In all the ads for this movie, they never mention what thing she invented that made her rich. It was the only thing that made me curious about the movie. I may catch it when it makes it to cable, but I don’t see myself going out to the theater for it.

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  11. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Good review buddy. I’m in the minority here. You make some great points, but I actually liked this movie. The surreal elements may not work for this modern fairy tale, but the real world satire worked for me. I left this movie feeling really good and inspired. I like the character arc, but I agree, I don’t know if Lawrence acted as well as say Rooney Mara and Blanchett in Carol, for example. I deffo understand the hate for Joy, but I love me an underdog story.

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    1. Sean Post author

      Interesting take. At the start, I wondered whether it was supposed to be satire (it sort of kind of felt like the Hudsucker Proxy with the strange intro and Joy designing her big invention using crayons and drawing ovals). But for me I couldn’t figure out what was being satirized because it wasn’t just Joy’s loser relatives, it seemed to be her as well.

      However I looked at it there was just something missing and I couldn’t connect with this movie at all. But I’m glad you enjoyed it and saw something there, because I was expecting to get way more out of this one!

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      1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

        I was expecting the movie to be better too. I like your Hudsucker comparison.

        For me, some of the satire came from the ideal vision of a “housewife.” Joy’s mother wasn’t the cook n clean type, but she was the 90s tv junkie type (that the Shopping Network targeted) obsessed with the lives of others in their Soaps. Joy was the cook n clean, work several jobs single mom type, juxtaposed as a dreamer – who’s really driven by imagination. The satire mainly was how a woman should act, I suppose, and giving a middle finger to the concept.

        The humour may not have worked all the time, but there were other satirical elements from Bradley Cooper too. That said, the best elements for me where the inspirational ones.

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  12. Cassandra

    Thanks for the review. I’ve had one person (who I trust) tell me that it’s awful and another (who I don’t know very well) love it so much that she’s going back to see it again. Your review is the clincher for me. I’ll take a miss.

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  13. Khalid Rafi

    This struck me as a really strange film and not in a good way. The story was just strange with all these weird plot elements but the whole thing just never materialized into anything substantial. I will say I liked Robert De Niro in this, though. He isnt always trying but Russell seems to have the ability to make him care and I thought he did quite well here.

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  14. Pingback: Oscar Nominations 2016 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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