Over the last five years no one has had more success in Hollywood than Jennifer Lawrence. She has been nominated for an Academy Award four times in the last five years and already won once at the young age of 25. She has found a perfect partner in David O. Russell, who undoubtedly has his muse. Three films in four years with three major stars has spelled box office success for Russell.
With Russell’s latest film he has attempted to capture the chemistry he had with the previous two. The plain truth of it is that he missed with his latest effort. The biggest flaw with Joy, is that as far as the story goes, it doesn’t feel that interesting. This could be due a weak script or just weak execution of the script. While on the surface the story has potential, being that of a working single mother who is taking care of her whole family and still managing to create what ultimately becomes an empire, it just comes across as thin.
Jennifer Lawrence is without question the highlight of the movie, but even she couldn’t save it. In the first few minutes there is reason to believe that the movie is going to be very entertaining, especially when you get introduced to Joy’s father played by another part of the trio from Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Robert De Niro. After De Niro’s opening scene, things just start going downhill.
Joy is the story of Joy Mangano, the single mother who had an idea for one of the most useful household items ever with the miracle mop. Despite lack of financing and no experience what so ever, she remained persistent and eventually become an industry herself. She had many obstacles to overcome and came very close to failure.
Bradley Cooper plays the programming director of the new upstart television station, QVC. He is the man who gives Joy her biggest opportunity to be successful. His time on screen is much too brief for him and Lawrence to have the chemistry that we have come to know.
Throughout all of this there are many points that could be developed deeper and show more powerful than they were. Jennifer Lawrence definitely gives a worthy performance, but it truly isn’t due to having so many different angles that the character has.
In the end Joy felt like a glorified Lifetime movie. Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for an Academy Award for her role of Joy making it three nominations for her in all three of her movies with David O. Russell. The success this crew has had in a short amount of time is pretty incredible. There is no plans for anything with them in the future and maybe taking the time to find the perfect project, will produce another great movie like the first two.