“Joy” is the tale of a dysfunctional family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.  “Joy is inspired by the life and times of inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, creator of Ingenious Designs with over $1 billion in sales as well as elements from the lives of other historic business pioneers.

“Joy” stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence as Joy. Academy Award winner Robert De Niro plays her father Rudy. Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper has basically a supporting role as Neil Walker. Edgar Ramirez is the ex, Tony while Isabella Rossellini, who really looks like a darker version of her mother, Ingrid Bergman, plays Rudy’s mistress. Academy Award nominee Diane Ladd plays Joy’s flaky mother. It is truly a star-studded cast and, the performances are memorable.

Written and directed by David O. Russell. Russell also directed:”Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” which also starred Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. He also directed “Three Kings.” The story was by Annie Momolo, who wrote the movie “Bridesmaids” with Kristen Wiig.
After watching the trailers, I thought “Oh, No!” I don’t want to see or review “Joy,” another movie about a dysfunctional family. Aren’t there any functional families out there whose story can be made into a movie? But, I was pleasantly surprised. “Joy” was not as raw and edgy as Russell’s other movies. I found I was really rooting for Joy to succeed and believe me the odds were stacked against the poor woman. Several times I found myself wanting to slap the pudding out of one of her family members and sometimes, I wanted to slap them all.

I viewed “Joy” at Wehrenberg’s Ronnie’s Cine and Imax in early December. I plan to see it again over the holidays.

“Joy” opens on Friday at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at Visit Mary’s website at