Joy, directed by David O. Russell and co-written with Annie Mumolo, tells of Joy Mangano and her invention of the Miracle Mop. It may sound arcane, but Russell continues in his neo-Preston Sturges mode that began with the uproarious Flirting with Disaster (1996), arguably the funniest movie of the mid-‘90s, and was reignited in his works starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper (The Silver Linings Playbook of 2011 and American Hustle in 2013). Russell has presented the American family as culturally and ethnically variegated and as a unit that both supports and hinders its individual members. Some might term them as dysfunctional, but that over-used term no longer possesses meaning or validity 80% of the time it’s used. Instead, it reflects the experiences of many Americans I know. Russell’s ace in the hole is Jennifer Lawrence; the movie wouldn’t be possible without her because she’s become his muse.
|Lawrence and Cooper Reunite|
|The Family Matriarchs|
|Joy Inventing the Miracle Mop|
|The Ensemble Cast|
The production design captures the look of the mid ‘70s to the early ‘90s without having to resort to titles. Like the rest of the movie, it’s achieved in an understated manner. There wasn’t one car out of period or interior setting that didn’t reflect the times and this was underscored by the hit tunes that actually speak of what’s happening in the scenes