JOY (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Let’s face it, we were all thinking it. This is just SILVER LININGS 2.0. Don’t you lie. And more than a few of us were getting annoyed that, YET AGAIN, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were in a movie together. I know I was. But similar to SILVER LININGS, I had an expectation that this movie would have the same popularity. Funny… it didn’t. In fact, upon release, this movie seemed to get panned by critics and word of mouth seemed like this was a clunker. I suppose my desires to see this movie stemmed from that alone, never mind the fact that I didn’t know what this movie was really about. But oh well, MOVIE TIME!!!

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence (PASSENGERS [2016], AMERICAN HUSTLE [2013], and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK [2012]). In support: Robert De Niro (THE COMEDIAN [2017], HANDS OF STONE [2016], and KILLER ELITE [2011]), Bradley Cooper (WAR DOGS [2016], ALOHA [2015], THE A-TEAM [2010], and upcoming films GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 [2017] and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR [2018]), Édgar Ramírez (GOLD [2017], THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN [2016], and THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM [2007]), Virginia Madsen (RED RIDING HOOD [2011], WONDER WOMAN [2009], and DUNE [1984]) and Dascha Polanco (THE PERFECT MATCH [2016], GIMME SHELTER [2013], and TV show ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK).

Directed and written by: David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and I HEART HUCKABEES [2004]). Co-composed by David Campbell (a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard of) and West Dylan Thordson (SPLIT [2017]). Cinematography by: Linus Sandgren (LA LA LAND [2016], THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY [2014], and PROMISED LAND [2012]).

(SUMMARY)

Based on the life of Joy Mangano, Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is living a fairly run-down life that may not lack for drama, isn’t the life she wants for herself. She takes care of her divorced parents Rudy (Robert De Niro) and Terry (Virginia Madsen), her supportive grandmother Mimi (Diane Ladd), and her beloved daughter Christie (twins: Aundrea and Gia Gadsby). Joy has always had an inventive mind and one day wants to invent a mop head that is incredibly absorbent, but even better, is reusable by simply throwing it in the wash-machine and it coming out like new. However, she can’t seem to catch a break by selling it on the streets. That is… until her ex-husband Tony (Édgar Ramírez) sets her up with an interview with Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper), a TV executive who specializes in TV shows that sell things. From here, excitement and drama takes hold and maybe Joy selling her Miracle Mop isn’t as easy, or leads to the hopes of a better life, as she would hope.

(REVIEW)

While I do think the critics are being a little harsh on the film, I can’t say that I was all that impressed with the movie either.

Let’s get my Lawrence-bashing out of the way. I don’t care for her performance here. I’ve seen this role when she was in AMERICAN HUSTLE, but at least that was a film that was calling for her character to be over-the-top and comedic. Here, it’s that same performance, but more dramatic and I just couldn’t take Lawrence that seriously. I mean, she’s fine, but I just don’t see her playing Joy Mangano, I see her TRYING to play Joy Mangano, if that makes any sense. I guess I just expect a woman who has to put up with so much in her life to be a little more worn down instead of just constantly looking annoyed and ready to punch her entire family in the face.

And Cooper and De Niro are in this movie for NO reason other than getting asses into the seats. They aren’t given compelling material to work with. Rudy could have been played by ANYBODY. Why waste a nothing role like this on such a big actor? Cooper’s no different. He just acts like every other fucking character he’s played. Seriously, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 can’t get here fast enough. If anyone thought I had problems with Lawrence, oh dear god I have problems with Cooper. He’s not a bad actor, but he never does anything new with himself. He’s like a talented Megan Fox: type-cast and loves it.

I think about the only real enjoyable thing about this movie is the chemistry between Lawrence and the in-movie family. All cramped in a house that’s way too small for so many people who barely get along, there’s a certain comedic charm to it. I mean, I didn’t laugh at anything in particular, but it was engaging. Better than boring, I suppose. And to see Lawrence act like she can’t act, I won’t lie, kinda made me giggle. There’s a scene where Joy insists on going on live television to sell her Miracle Mop herself, but as soon as the cameras start rolling, Joy freezes up. She’s all quiet and looking around not at the camera, she’s making a kind of fool of herself and it’s entertaining to see Lawrence act like that.

Rumor has it that Lawrence and Amy Schumer are working on a comedy together. Maybe I should be more excited for that movie because, honestly, with the exception of HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, her dramatic roles have always been underwhelming for me, but her comedy-ish roles, like in AMERICAN HUSTLE, she was funny. Maybe she should give that a whirl for awhile. Just a thought.

Anyway, this movie was definitely not for me. It’s not awful by any means, but… I saw this once. I’m good. If you’re a fan of the lead actress (like the rest of the world is), then you might find enjoyment, and maybe the subject matter to be interesting, but as for me, it’s okay.

A weak 3/5

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