No “Joy” in David O. Russell’s latest film

Olivia Foster, staff writer

“Joy” had all the potential to be a great movie: a skilled selection of actors, a qualified director and interesting cinematography, however it fell short of the hype it had been receiving.

“Joy,” which was released on Dec. 25, 2015, chronicles the life of Joy Mangano, an American entrepreneur who works to break out of her tough family life and pursue her inventive dreams.

While the premise and message of the story have the potential to be interesting, the dialogue dragged on with no real emotional charge. Joy Mangano, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a struggling, single mother who is forced to abandon her dreams of being an entrepreneur to take care of her two children, unsuccessful ex- husband and divorced, feuding parents.

As the movie continues, Joy is stopped by more depthless characters whose connection to Joy is underdeveloped. Previously, director David O. Russell has developed meaningful connections between characters on screen specifically between the power trio of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro, who were all reunited in this film. Unfortunately their connection to each other was blurred throughout the film.

Furthermore, after all of the heart-wrenching moments and stop signs that slow down Joy from reaching her goals, Joy emits only a few paper-throwing yells when she is forced to sign bankruptcy documents that seemed to put a definitive end to her dreams. At this point in the film I was expected a more dramatic and emotional scene.

The movie did have touching moments, such as when Lawrence deteriorates while presenting her self-wringing mop on the QVC shopping channel, but overall my expectations were not met. David O Russell, who has directed many emotional and thought-provoking movies did not deliver the same amount of raw emotion and rich character analysis that was evident in his other films.