The film is backed by a strong supporting cast that includes Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd and Virginia Madsen.
The film, billed as a genre-bending “biographical comedy-drama” is based on a true story about Joy Mangano, who invented the phenomenally successful “Miracle Mop” in the 1990s.
She founded a company “Ingenious Designs,” which she eventually sold to USA Networks, the parent company of the HSN. By 2001, she’d sold five million Miracle Mops worldwide, and had more than $200 million in annual retail sales, according to a New York Times profile.
Lawrence plays Mangano, a divorced mother of three who develops the mop in her father’s shop. De Niro plays the dad and Ramirez is Joy’s ex-husband. Cooper plays a Home Shopping Network executive who helps Mangano market her mop on the show.
Russell directed Lawrence and Cooper in their blockbuster hits “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” so he knows how to tap their on-screen chemistry.
“Serena,” directed by Susanne Bier, seemed to have all the right stuff to be another big hit.
Lawrence and Cooper played love-struck newly-weds, who build a timber empire in 1920s North Carolina. Serena proves herself equal to the rough men surrounding her. Critics hated it, largely for its plot failings.
“Joy” has a similar theme. Mangano must overcome difficult odds in the brass-knuckle world of consumer products to get her mop to market, but succeeds through sheer grit and determination.
The film is ultimately an uplifting story and will be released on Christmas day.
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