Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) invents a self-wringing mop and exemplifies the modern matriarch in the film that shares her name.

Reel Reviews: Mop maven’s story is a tad messy

Jennifer Lawrence plays Joy as the relentless inventor of the self-wringing mop.

  • Feb. 5, 2016 8:00 p.m.

Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is a young woman destined to become the matriarch of her family, the one to finally make it.

Divorced with multiple jobs and a second mortgage, all Joy wants is a patent on her new invention, a self-wringing mop.

When Joy meets QVC shopping channel executive Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) and he likes her mop, things change for better and worse.

We say, “Joy is relentless.”

TAYLOR: Joy is a busy woman. Her hectic life and demanding extended family set a pace for the film that doesn’t let up. It isn’t until the end of the film that you realize she hasn’t noticed the time go by. The film is a funny, dramatic, interesting ride and apparently somewhat true.

HOWE: Miracle Mop sales must be slow, or this is a different type of infomercial to increase sales for the product.

It has been 30 years since the item was launched. I still can’t believe that I sat and watched a two hour movie about a mop invention. The trailer for Joy certainly doesn’t give the story away and I feel a little robbed because of that. I was hoping something along the lines of Silver Linings Playbook, as it is made by the same people. Joy has the same great cast, yet it’s not close, not even in the same ballpark as SLP.

TAYLOR: Joy was written and directed by David O. Russell of Silver Linings Playbook and the two share a similar, personal style. While true the trailer doesn’t tell us “this is the true story of a lady who invented a mop,” it does tell us that Joy has a somewhat hectic, crazy life.

I think you’re hung up on the what rather than about the whom.

The film is a singular experience, an avalanche of scenes tumble onto the screen, sometimes loud, occasionally enervating but always engrossing. It also has a tidy thread that runs through it, giving it an artistic flair. It is a film about an American super woman.

HOWE: Sometimes, strange, obscure or niche movies are a hit. Joy falls into these categories, but to me this is no hit. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is fine, top notch in fact. It’s just that it didn’t keep me entertained for two hours and great acting itself doesn’t save it.

TAYLOR: I was very entertained, so entertained that I think the film became self aware, which is what is wrong with it. It’s too proud of its cleverness. I’ll dock a point for showing off.

Taylor gives Joy 4 formulas out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2 microphones out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Taylor and Howe appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

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