Joy is the story of Joy, the ultimate caretaker. Her mom is a headcase who lives with Joy and spends all of her time in bed watching soap operas. Any soap missed is cause for crisis. Joy’s father is an arrogant narcissist, who at the beginning of the story, moves in with Joy, her mom, grandmother and the ex-husband who lives in the basement.
The only person who deeply believes in Joy is her grandmother. She knows Joy will eventually find her way, live her dreams and, with that, happily ever after. Writer/director David O. Russell and Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo tell you how.
Give most of the credit for Joy’s fun to Jennifer Lawrence, who once again stuns in a Russell-written and directed project. She’s not quite as good in Joy as in Russell’s American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook, but the material isn’t as deep.
Her supporting cast is equally good. Bradley Cooper co-stars, but his role is more supporting than starring. Also cast are Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd and a long-missing from the screen Isabella Rossellini. And don’t miss the wonderfully funny cameo of Melissa Rivers who stars as her mom, Joan.
Joy is based on a true story. QVC TV channel Miracle Mop maker and inventor Joy Mangano is the inspiration. Her last name and the mop name aren’t mentioned in the movie, and a lot of the characters in Russell’s plot don’t exist. Many of the movie’s incidents aren’t real either.
So you can say it’s a sort of biopic, or you can call it a complete biopic. However you choose to define it, Joy is a joy.
Next week Mr. Movie looks at 2015 in movies — the good and the bad. Find it at www.tricityherald.com.
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12, Fairchild’s Queensgate 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.