16 April 2016 | samgiannn
Jennifer Lawrence made a name for herself by starring in The Hunger Games, and she's easily one of the most recognizable actresses in Hollywood. But what does she do now that The Hunger Games has ended? Her first post-HG project is reteaming with David O. Russell, director of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hussle, which netted her one Academy Award win and two nominations (including Joy). Although Joy wasn't as well-received as their other pairings, it still gives Jennifer Lawrence a movie to carry on her own without a franchise title to support her. Joy is a biographical film about the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop, because evidently she needed a biopic. She grew up in a home where everyone around her had a dead-end job, and her grandmother was the only source of optimism for Joy. By the time she's 30, Joy is a divorced mother of two, working a dead-end job, her parents are divorced but still live with Joy, and her ex-husband lives in her basement. To add insult to injury, her sister constantly humiliates Joy in front of her children. The rest of the film is Joy overcoming these obstacles to become an overnight success with her first invention, the Miracle Mop, and selling the product on QVC. It is one of those inspirational bio-dramas we get a few times a year, but it never feels overly sappy or fake. The real issue is the film's first half which drug on about 20 minutes too long hammering in how much the characters' lives suck. Once Joy makes the prototype for the Miracle Mop and starts her business, the movie's quality picks up immensely. You actually start caring about the characters rather than just saying "Wow, their lives suck." The ensemble cast, which includes Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, does typically great work and salvages the movie's slower parts. Joy is definitely one of those movies that you really go see for the cast, but it's often fun to watch Joy's race to the top even if it takes a long time for her to start.