Have you been wondering when someone would finally make a film about the inventor of the Miracle Mop? This reviewer certainly hasn’t. A comedy-drama loosely based on the life of single mother and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, David O. Russell’s third and most recent collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence tackles a subject few, if any, would consider prime material for a big-budget Christmas film. While I remain somewhat skeptical of her ability to believably portray a mother of three in her late thirties, Lawrence is predictably charming and magnetic as she introduces the film via monologue. For all the enigmatic appeal of its principal actor, however, Joy’s trailer commits the familiar fault of dragging on a little too long and giving away a little too much. Upon watching the trailer one may as well have seen an abridged highlights reel of the film, complete with the most memorable lines and moralizing subtext. If only for a strong performance by Lawrence already receiving Oscar buzz, Joy will likely still be worth your time. That said, the choice to not only cast but purposefully create roles for Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro alongside one another again so soon seems questionable at best. With Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle both fresh in recent memory, a palate cleanser may have been in order.
Joy’s trailer is no masterpiece, but it doesn’t have to be. People will watch the film for its star-studded cast even if Russell can’t seem to move on.