David O’Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro have re-teamed yet again for their 3rd collaboration, ‘Joy’.
Telling the story of ‘Miracle Mop’ creator Joy Mangano, our journey takes us from the beginning as the young inventor juggles her kids, job and crazy family life.
Unfortunately the film starts off incredibly slow and very pointless. It takes a long time to really get to the point of the story and by the time it’s actually got there it’s a little too late. Some aspects were enjoyable – Bradley Cooper for example manages to inject a level of interest as the story begins to lull but other than that, there just doesn’t appear to be enough on screen to keep interested.
My main problem however is with director David O’Russell and his insistence of using the same cast over and again. Not necessarily performance issues, its more the idea that we are now just seeing the same thing rather than anything new. It feels like this line-up is more down to box office draw rather than an exciting cast.
Performance wise, Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant in the lead role and holds that power and sassiness that is needed for the role of Joy. Robert De Niro is hit and miss (an apparent ‘norm’ for the veteran actor) and luckily Bradley Cooper swoops in at the right time to salvage huge issues in the first half. Frustratingly, it’s the rest of the supporting cast (mainly Joy’s family) that are incredibly hard to get along with. Failing to recapture the annoyance but entertaining aspect of the family he managed to get right in his previous work, O’Russells failed family dynamic makes it feel like your head is about to explode rather than laugh at the subtle eccentricities.
Longing and waiting for the drama to really kick in, ‘Joy’ never really delivers – what could be – a good film. In the end, it’s only an average film that is saved by Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. 3 out of 5 stars.