A teaming of Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Robert De Niro (Rudy), Bradley Cooper (Neil Walker) and Isabella Rossellini (Trudy) leads to a delightful story of perseverance. Based loosely on the life of inventer and home shopping network star Joy Mangano, showing us how someone can go from a broken family to success, if you put your mind to it, and never give up.
Title character Joy has been told she will one day become the family matriarch. Yet through the deceit and greediness of others, this has not yet come to pass. Divorced, a mother, a family relying on her, and a half sister out to take all the glory, Joy has a tough life. Yet she seems a kind person.
Lawrence’s portrayal of the character of Joy brings many dimensions to what would otherwise be a rather uninteresting story. The character Joy is lovable, and you want her to succeed. Yet it seems the universe is conspiring against her. Every time she gives something her all, yet more goes wrong. Just as you think Joy is about to have her entire life turned about, someone betrays her, or makes a mistake, or tries their luck, or they just do not have the faith in her that is due. Yet, she perseveres, comes up with yet another plan, and refuses to give up.
Much the same character misdirection can be said for Cooper’s character Neil. He seems friendly, and then you start to see another side to him. You want to hate him, and then realise it’s just business. And you start wishing Joy will show him up, and he does something so kind for her, that you need to reassess your entire view of him.
For anyone in business for themselves, or struggling with the economy and demands of modern life, Joy is sure to give you hope.
This is a delightful story, well acted and directed, and with a sprinkle of some very humorous moments. Certainly one to go see.
Joy opens 8 January 2016 in South Africa cinemas.