Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Isabella Rossellini, Virginia Madsen, Bradley Cooper (Rated M – 124 min).
Growing up on screen before our eyes, the irrepressible Jennifer Lawrence practically makes this film her own embracing the obscure true story of high spirited Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop, personally marketing the product turning into a home-shopping phenomenon.
She is a divorced mother of two who time and time again pushes aside her own career aspirations and inventive nature to support her blended family including a soap opera addicted mother, lovesick dad and a Tom Jones aspired crooner ex-husband. Working a series of odd jobs to support them, it is a moment of clarity after an accident on a sailboat that defined her success.
Doing what Joy does best, cleaning up after other people, when the incident on the water happens. She inadvertently creates the miracle mop catching the attention of the world. Beyond the entrepreneurial moment, much of the script is misguided story arcs shooting off into various directions covering everything from screwball comedy to equivocal drama and dubious romance, but above all family values. There are also moments of harsh business realities but Joy is a go-getter doing things her own way investigating discrepancies. The movie remains interesting albeit offbeat.
Having said from the beginning when first noticing Jennifer Lawrence in early roles Garden Party and Winters Bone, she acts beyond her years to solid effect of any Hollywood veteran. More award accolades are sure to be on the way, the talented starlet also sings on camera in Joy. Robert DeNiro keeps the sheen on his varied career shining bright as the hopeless romantic father. Look-alike real life daughter Drena has a small role as she does in many of her dad’s recent films.
Appearances from Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet, Cousins) and Diane Ladd (Chinatown, Wild at Heart) bring pure class. Bradley Cooper pops up in a minor role but be ready for an uncanny Melissa Rivers playing her late mother Joan in a brilliant moment.
Massachusetts locales are used to misty effect and adds to the weaving elements of a wayward but inspirational tale. Revolutionising cleaning is only the tip of the iceberg for one of a kind Joy.
Shane A. Bassett