David O. Russell once directed one of my favorite films of all time, Three Kings. Ever since then, I’ve always looked forward to whatever project he’d churn out. But as of late he’s been getting all sorts of accolades and recognition and I fear they’ve put him in a corner. As the third film in his working relationship with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, Joy has a lot to live up to. Namely, it had to prove that their films aren’t getting worse with each attempt.
Clearly whatever the trio was attempting to do never quite came to pass. With Joy, it’s all the staleness we’ve come to expect. With how bland this film is, maybe it’s time the trio cuts their losses and go their separate ways before they suffocate their creativity.
Director: David O. Russell
Release Date: December 25th, 2015
Loosely based on the life of saleswoman/inventor juggernaut Joy Mangano, Joy follows its titular character Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) in the 80s as she invents an easier cleaning mop and tries to sell them on home shopping networks. Through the film she deals with money troubles and her even more troubling family, which includes the likes of an ex-husband who won’t leave the house (Edgar Ramirez’s Tony), a bed addled mother addicted to old soap operas (Virginia Madsen’s Terri), and a father caught in second marriage troubles (Robert DeNiro’s Rudy). Despite everything crumbling around her, Joy still has the drive to succeed.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Joy is as by the numbers as they come.