The true story of Joy Mangano, a divorced homemaker who came up
with the idea for the Miracle Mop and rocketed to fame and fortune.
Written and Directed by David O. Russell
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Isabella Rossellini, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd,
Elisabeth Röhm, Virginia Madsen, Dascha Polanco
Oscar Nominations - Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence)
In a million years, I never would've thought that a film about the woman who revolutionized the mop would be any good. Without Jennifer Lawrence's dedicated performance, it probably wouldn't have. Joy may not be David O. Russell's best movie, but it certainly has his tone and tells a larger than life but absolutely true rags to riches story that anybody can appreciate. Russell seems to be interested in making films about decent people with horrible families, considering this is his third film with that theme (behind The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook). His other two are better, but that's only because this one has little to work with in terms of keeping our interest.
Joy Mangano is a name now synonymous with the Home Shopping Network, but before her success, she was a divorced homemaker with two kids and a family that used her. When she came up with the Miracle Mop, she very nearly lost it due to the neglectfulness of her family and a jackass from Texas. I didn't expect her story to be all that interesting, I'll admit. It's Jennifer Lawrence who keeps the audience entertained with her strong performance. She plays a damaged woman who's running out of hope and is on the verge of a serious breakdown if she gets anymore bad news. When she gets hit with setback after setback, it's impossible not to feel for her, which makes it all the sweeter when she finally comes out on top.
David O. Russell is a talented filmmaker, as he managed to make a good movie out of a lukewarm story. I didn't enjoy his attempt to weave scenes from Joy's mom's soap opera into the narrative, but thankfully that went away quickly. Joy will surprise you, as it did me. It's a story about perseverance, family, and the importance of imagination. If you can't get behind that, you're probably the one holding your loved one back from success.