Writer-director David O. Russell can’t find the right tone between lowbrow sitcom and ironic social satire with the tale of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), a Long Island divorcee with a large, boisterous family, who solves everyone’s problems by inventing a new kind of kitchen mop. Lawrence never quite clicks as the single-minded, humorless Joy, and so Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) tries to get by with the semi-slapstick help of Robert De Niro (as Joy’s talkative father), Bradley Cooper (a shop-at-home TV hustler), and the antics of Joy’s loud family. It’s as if Russell cooked up this kooky story – written by the director and Annie Mumolo -- with leftover wardrobe from his American Hustle, but forgot to tell Lawrence it was supposed to be funny. Watching it becomes a chore in itself (124 min.).
Director: David Russell
Producer: John Davis, Ken Mok, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon, David Russell, Matthew Budman, John Fox, Mary McLaglen, Joy Mangano, George Parra, Annie Mumolo and Ethan Smith
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Édgar Ramírez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Bradley Cooper, Elisabeth Röhm, Dascha Polanco and Isabella Crovetti-Cramp