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Rated 2.99 stars
by 334 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Never Give Up
by Betty Jo Tucker

Based on the true story of Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop, Joy emphasizes the importance of family, loyalty and love. It also shows how determination and cooperation can help in achieving one’s goals despite almost insurmountable obstacles. Filmmaker David O. Russell wisely cast Jennifer Lawrence, one of today’s most watchable actresses, in the title role.


The movie "Joy" is sometimes sad.

It’s frustrating – and yet not bad.

A divorced mom, Joy has BIG dreams

but lives on edge, or so it seems.


Her ex-husband depends on Joy.

Her dad flirts with his new love toy.

Her kids, grandma and mommy weird

all love her, but she still gets scared.      


Then Joy invents a special mop.

Will this take her straight to the top?

Jennifer Lawrence, the film’s star,

excels again and should go far.


But one plot gap is hard to take.

And some scenes make your own heart ache.

So should you see this "Joy" movie?

Oh yes, of course. It rates a “B.”


Because of Lawrence’s dynamic performance, I bought into the story and had no problem cheering for the character she plays. Even though the plot suffers from a major plot gap and the film stays too long with family problems in the beginning, Joy should please Lawrence fans as well as viewers who enjoy movies with a strong female lead and viewpoint.

Joy also boasts a dream support cast that includes Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, and Bradley Cooper. They all have their moments here, but the film belongs to Lawrence. Watch for an amusing turn by De Niro as Joy’s philandering father. Although Madsen gets most of the laughs with her portrayal of Joy’s soap-opera obsessed mother, Ramirez gives her a run for her money in the role of a needy ex-hubby who wants to concentrate on his singing career. Ladd is fine as the grandma and narrator of the movie, and Cooper projects a great deal of charm as a businessman who helps Joy enter the wild world of commerce.

I wish this dramedy spent more time following how Joy dealt with a fraud that almost sinks her Miracle Mop project. Cutting a couple of annoying family scenes during the first part of the movie and adding a sequence showing more details about Joy’s actions regarding the fraud incident could help viewers better understand that part of the film.  

Still, it’s a treat to see an inspiring motion picture about a real woman who cares deeply about her family as well as her own personal goals while struggling to become successful in the world of business and finance.  

(Released by Fox 2000 Pictures and rated “PG-13” for brief strong language.)

For more information about Joy, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website. 

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