Great, another story about a struggling mother trying to make it in the business world. God knows we can’t have enough of those. Just the other night I was watching Lifetime (I was too drunk to change the channel) and only saw the storyline of Joy about 8 times in 12 hours.
But hey, I guess if you can get Jennifer Lawrence, you don’t have to put it on Lifetime, right? Wrong. My deep, and slightly Sapphic love of Jennifer Lawrence aside, I really did not find this movie watchable. It’s melodrama really made it only suitable for Lifetime.
Our heroine is Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) a chick who apparently peddles mops for a living. She supports her big, dysfunctional family including her mom Terry (Virginia Madsen), mom’s ex-husband Rudy (Robert Diner) Rudy’s girlfriend (Isabelle Rosalina) and a bunch of other people I can’t be bothered to name.
So the whole thing is narrated by Joy’s grandmother, which gets particularly jarring at the midpoint, when she dies but continues narrating anyway and is about Joy beating all the odds and…selling mops.
No joke, with all the dramatic speeches made about mops, you would have expected them to friggen cure cancer. They don’t. They’re just mops. But hey, she gets those magic mops on TV and bam, they’re a hit.
Then, in the blink of an eye, she goes bankrupt…and I laughed and laughed.
Let me say this to start off. I do not admire those who make millions by peddling crap on the Home Shopping Network. I think those jerks are preying on the most vulnerable in our society by selling them junk they don’t need, because they’re so lonely they’ll pay to talk to someone on the phone. It bothers me and I don’t like seeing it glorified here.
It’s a tried and true, overly sentimentalized story about a woman overcoming obstacles to earn her rightful place as a billionaire…peddling crap to old people on public access tv. I found it more annoying than I did inspiring.
I will say that I felt Lawrence made every effort to make her character work, I just found all of the ‘land of opportunity’ speeches to be a bit too on the nose and irritating. So many times I wanted to scream at the screen “it’s just a mop!”
It’s amazing to me that that a director who made Silver Linings Playbook, who partnered Lawrence with Bradley Cooer yet again, could have failed so badly, but this one fell flat for me. I just didn’t get why this woman was important. I didn’t get why the mop was so damn important.
I have a vacuum.
In short, I found this film a bit too silly and desperate to be real. Much like the melodramatic soap operas Joy’s mother loved so deeply, I didn’t buy the plotline. Much like I’m not willing to buy anything from the real Joy Mangano, I’m not buying this story based on her life.
Sorry Jennifer Lawrence. No hard feelings.
WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!