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Joy is a film about two sisters facing the abrupt passing of their sister
by Erik Sean McGiven on Oct 29, 2009
Joy is a film about two sisters facing the
abrupt passing of their sister Joy and their discovery of genuine happiness and
their need for each other. This should
have been great source material for an inspiring story with memorable
characters going on an enlightening journey.
Unfortunately this film plays largely on the surface and we seldom feel
the dynamics of the three sister's relationship. Rather than relevant traits the filmmakers
rely on character quirks that only distract from the story. For instance, Julie Marie Hassett's character
uses a bullhorn and is anal retentive when it comes to pastry cooking. Jennifer Grace Cook's character lives in a
loveless marriage with a man who can't stop spouting off about his immense
knowledge of fruits and vegetables.
Sarah Hassett Jones plays the title role and is obsessed about being a
mother. She's the normal one.
The weakness in this film is that the story seldom addresses
the relationship between the sisters and the problems in their lives. Instead it goes off on little vignette
tangents that have little to do with the main theme. The sisters seldom connect with one
another. In addition, the use of the
mega-store location allows too much space and too many distractions for such an
intimate story. It could have been
better told in the confines of a house where emotions, wants and relationships can
be unveiled with much more clarity and focus.
If the writing had constructed more believable characters confronting
their problems rather than avoiding them, than this could have been a joyful
movie-going experience. As is, it is
Production credits are marginal with poor lighting and
indifferent camera work. Music is wall
to wall, mainly piano, and does little to foreshadow or lead us through this
murky, meandering film.
"Joy" stars Julie Marie Hasset, Sarah Hasset Jones, Jennifer
Grace Cook Evan Boymel, Vince Jolivet, and Ann Randolph; Edited by Brandon
Kraemer & Andrew Money; Director of Photography -- Shawn Baird; Written by
Julie Marie Hasset; Directed by Julie Marie Hassett & Andrew Money. A Red Love Film Presentation in Association
with Seven/Seventy-Nine, Ltd./House of Grace; Running Time: 90 Minutes
February 28, 2021