Joy Ride

July 7, 202360/1006 min
Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, David Denman
Written by
Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao ( screenplay by/ story by ). Adele Lim ( story by )
Directed by
Adele Lim
Run Time
1h 35min
Release Date
July 7th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

                  Life can be tough, so having that “ride-or-die” friend who is there for you can be a big deal. Unfortunately as life goes on and we get older, those bonds that once seemed unbreakable, can begin to show some cracks. We need those friends though, as they help us take the steps we couldn’t take alone. Adele Lim’s new comedy Joy Ride, not only reminds us of this, but does so in a way that will make your face hurt a little from laughing so much.

It all begins on some random playground in America, two little Asian girls meet and become instant best friends. Those girls are Lolo ( Sherry Cola) and Audrey (Ashley Park) and when they grow up they stay close, even as their lives have taken different paths. But what better way to rekindle that closeness than with a good old fashion road trip. Audrey is going to China to close a deal for work. That is not the only plan though, as Lolo suggest taking time to also find Audrey’s birth mother, who lives in China. Everything is set, and tagging along with Lolo and Audrey is Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), who is Lolo’s cousin. The plan is to do the deal for work, meet up with Audrey’s good friend from college Kat (Stephanie Hsu) and find Audrey’s mother. However the best-laid-plans can go awry and this one is no exception.

Good comedies can be hard to come by, as it seems most want to play it safe. Or go too far that the grossness lives little room for humor. Joy Ride doesn’t play that way. Written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao, and Adele Lim, they are not afraid to push jokes to their limit and deliver one of the year’s funniest films. It seems like forever since we’ve had someone push the envelope this far, but never once do they tear it apart. They certainly  bring back some memories of 90’s comedies. It is not all about the laughs though, as Joy Ride also has friendship and identity at its core, but make no mistake, making you laugh is goal number one.

The film surely lives up to its name, as it is an insane ride that moves at a brisk speed. A lot of that is made possible because of the great cast, as Cole, Hsu, Park, and Wu shine in their own individual ways but also have great chemistry together. It is that chemistry that helps with some great improv moments that must have been one hell of a time on set. Where a lot of comedies start to fail by playing into the sentimentality aspects of the story. Joy Ride threads the needle and finds just the right amount of emotion and at the right moments that doesn’t make it swerve off the road. It’s as fun of a time you will have, as it doesn’t try to rewrite the road trip or even the comedy game. Instead the filmmakers take you full throttle with humor and authenticity, all while delivering a joyous movie. I can promise you, considering where comedies are these days, Joy Ride is one trip you don’t want to miss.

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