Thursday, June 16, 2016

MOVIE WEEKEND: JOY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I thought Joy was a straight up biopic about entrepreneur Joy Mangano. It's true that the original script was about Mangano. Director David O. Russell became involved with the project and re-wrote the script so that it's loosely based on Mangano's life, but more important, he made Joy a paean to strong women (2015, PG-13, Available On DVD).


Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She works as an airline reservations clerk; she has two children with her ex-husband Tony (Edgar Ramírez), who lives in her basement; she takes care of her mother Terry (Virginia Madsen), who had a breakdown when she and Joy's farther divorced so she stays in bed all day watching soap operas; she does the books for her father Rudy's (Robert De Niro) poorly run business, and Rudy's most recent love interest dumps him so he moves into Joy's basement with Tony; and she contends with her nasty step-sister Peggy (Elisabeth Rohm), who always has something unkind to say to or about Joy, especially to Joy's children.

The one person who encourages Joy is her grandmother Mimi (Diane Ladd), who also narrates the movie. However, her advice to Joy was to get an education, get a job, get married, and have children. Mimi doesn't quite see how talented Joy is.

Joy is filled with ideas for inventions, such as a self-wringing mop, and she has the smarts to design and create her inventions. When she starts her own business, how can she become a success when so many people in her life bring her down?

The main thing Joy has going for it is Jennifer Lawrence's performance. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for this film. Did she deserve that nomination? That I can't answer, but in spite of Joy allowing so many people to take advantage of her, she comes to epitomize the strong woman who carries on no matter what. In that sense, the performance is good.

Other members of the cast, especially Robert De Niro––who has become a caricature of himself––do not live up to Lawrence's performance.

I like the movie because of Lawrence and her character's experiences. I love people who are persistent for the right reasons, so I like the plot. The screenplay could be better; it might have made the other performances stronger. At times, Joy comes off as a fantasy. Which parts of it are true? I'll try to tell you about Joy Mangano tomorrow.

Joy earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Pretty High Approval. I doubt if it would interest your kids, but you might invite your teenage daughters to watch it with you. I would want to talk about the good and bad points of Joy's character. I'd also warn young women not to go out on their own, as Joy does, to confront shady people engaged in bad business practices.

If you feel any interest in Joy, then I say, give it a chance. Happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

38 comments:

  1. LOVE, JANIE ~
    Glad to see that the migraine has passed. (You owe 2 BOTBs on July 1st. Better start thinkin'!)

    >>... Joy earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Pretty High Approval

    "Seal Of PRETTY HIGH Approval".
    HA!-HA! That "Pretty High", is that (Link...>>) "CLOCKED"?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have a long list of potential BOTBs. My son makes suggestions. I like Joy, but it's not brilliant. Pretty High Approval falls somewhere between Approval and Highest Approval.

      Delete
    2. I've never seen Defending Your Life. It looks funny!

      Delete
    3. LOVE, JANIE ~
      I think 'DEFENDING YOUR LIFE' is hilarious. I've owned it for years. Rip Torn just cracks me up in that movie. IMO, he steals the show, but the entire movie is entertaining as all get-out! I highly recommend it to ya!

      I may be confusing you with someone else, but I seem to think I remember that you are a big JUDY GARLAND fan. Is that right? If so, she needs yer help in my current BOTB. She's in a catfight but she's losing it.

      [And if you're not the big Judy Garland fan I'm thinking you are, then... never mind.]

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    4. I'm not a big Judy Garland fan, but I'm fond of her. I shall visit your BOTB to see what I can do for Judy.

      Delete
  2. Didn't see this one, but I love Jennifer Lawrence! She is an amazingly talented actor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely worth seeing if you like Jennifer Lawrence. I like her, too.

      Delete
  3. I've heard about this movie but haven't had a chance to see it yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance. I suspect Mrs. C. will like it.

      Delete
  4. Not exactly a ringing endorsement... I don't see this one popping up at my house any time soon but you never know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not great film making, but I like it.

      Delete
  5. I like movies like this on rainy days and for a buck rental you just can't beat the entertainment cost.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I may see this film one day but I just couldn't get excited about someone who created a self wringing mop. I mean, good for the gal since she made money but it sounds a bit meh to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's not meh when played by Jennifer Lawrence.

      Delete
  7. Oh and glad you are feeling better regarding your migraine. Those things must be truly hell. I have a friend who suffers from them and now gets Botox to help her with the migraines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had more migraines in the past year than I'd had in the past ten years. I might have to see my doctor.

      Delete
  8. I recently watched this and wondered how much of it was true and what was made up for dramatic effect. DeNiro has been a big disappointment to me lately. Talk about talent going to waste. Jennifer Lawrence carried this whole movie, but I didn't ever think it was award-worthy. That's a surprise! I began to suspect years ago that there is something else going on with the oscars these days--besides excellent performances, you know? Is money and (movie) politics involved in that, too, now? Sure seems like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see innuendo all the time about the Oscars being fixed and meaning nothing. I'd like to know the specifics. Did you watch the Tony awards? LOVED the show.

      Delete
    2. No, didn't see the Tonys. Remember I don't have regular TV anymore. I don't see a lot of broadcast TV anymore. Mostly cable TV that I get on Netflix--LOL! ;)

      Delete
    3. Oh, yes. I remembered about PBS but didn't think of the other networks (I so seldom watch them). That's a pain for you, but it's better than living in the other place.

      Delete
  9. I hate it that Robert De Niro has become a caricature of himself. Why would anyone let that happen?

    Hi Janie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly wouldn't let that happen to yourself.

      Delete
  10. Hello! Big Jennifer Lawrence fanboy over here. I've seen almost all of her movies and this one is sitting on my shelf, waiting to be watched. I'd watch that woman paint a house so I will definitely get around to it. Perhaps your review will nudge me into watching it this weekend :)

    The Pedestrian Writer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed it. I could relax and not think a lot.

      Delete
    2. I visited your blog and commented, but I didn't see a way to follow by email nor to sign up to be a follower.

      Delete
    3. OH! Sorry about that... I put the 'follow by e-mail' button on my site but cant find the 'Followers/Friend Connect' option. I'm following your blog though!

      Delete
    4. Thank you. If you don't find the Followers option, I'll try to help you with it.

      Delete
  11. I have this movie on my list to watch. It was not one that I would go to a movie theater for. That takes some planning, the best time for me to go, easy access for my walker, no screaming kids or phone people. So I usually never go the first few weeks.
    I want to see The Secret Life of Pets and the new Dwayne Johnson movie, Central Intelligence. I missed Zootopia so I will see that on Netflix along with The Man Who Knew Infinity.
    Love your reviews so I hope you keep writing them.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't been to a movie theater in almost three years. When I need to pee in a theater, they won't pause the movie for me. Rude, don'tcha think?

      Delete
    2. hahahahaha so true.
      I rarely go to the movie theater, it is just too much work for me.
      But every once in awhile I break down and go.

      Delete
  12. This movie hasn't made it to my town as yet, but I do want to see it. Jennifer Lawrence is an incredible actress. Been missing your posts and busy with my "stuff".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it didn't play in a theater there, but it's on DVD. You can get it from Netflix or Red Box.

      Delete
  13. I saw this movie shortly after it came out. Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Joy was excellent. Robert De Nero is hamming it up these days. It's too bad; he was such a great actor! The story was inspirational and I'd love to know which parts are true. Looking forward to learning more about the real person. Thanks, Janie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is Jennifer Lawrence bad at anything? The one movie with Robert DeNiro I enjoyed because it was relaxing was The Intern, with Ann Hathaway. It was predictable, though. For good DeNiro, I turn to the past: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino . . .

      Delete
    2. Yes, De Niro had some great roles in the past. I'm with you on that. I think now, he's just doing it for the money and he's coasting. :P

      Delete
  14. Hi Janie,

    This sounds like a very good movie. I'll have to see if work owns it so I can rent it. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Love,
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete

Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.