Don’t think the world owes you anything, because the world owes you nothing – A Joy Review

Joy Poster resized

I wish this movie was an absolute joy to watch, but unfortunately it’s got some problems.

Joy is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, a young single mother who invented the self-wringing mop. Joy lives with her very dysfunctional family in a single run-down home. Living with her is her out-of-touch-with-reality mother, ex-husband, father, grandmother, and two children. Just when her family life seems to have pushed her over the edge, she comes up with a brilliant idea that will change her life forever.

The Good

  • As expected, great performances from the star-studded cast (which includes Jeniffer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert de Niro)
  • Some truly emotional and gripping moments
  • Great chemistry that adds depth to the many complicated relationships in the film

The OK

  • Nothing really…

The Bad

  • Not sure if it wants to focus on her family life, or her struggles to make her invention a reality
  • This movie doesn’t know when to end
  • Bad pacing

Final Thoughts

Joy starts off really strong, in the usual manner that we expect from director David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle). Unfortunately, problems soon start to appear.

The film shifts tone about half way through and almost feels like a whole other movie. It starts off focused on the family and their problems, and suddenly we’re dealing with a story about a woman facing the cutthroat reality of male dominated business.

The film also has too many highs and lows for each act in the story, which made me feel like I was on an out-of-control emotional rollercoaster. I’d lost track of time during the film, but eventually I did find myself asking “When is this going to end?”

Which brings me to my next big problem with the film: it takes forever for the film to actually end. There was a moment, about ten to twenty minutes before the credits finally rolled, where I was convinced the film was going to wrap things up, but it kept on going. This would have been fine if the final moments of the film had much purpose, but it really feels like they were unnecessary.

Overall, Joy has some really, really great moments, but by the end of the film, it’s inconsistent pacing and drawn out ending make it feel like it overstays its welcome. Worth a watch but lower your expectations for this one.


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