‘Joy Ride’ Review: A Raunch-Com Roller Coaster

The new “Joy Ride” offers a contemporary comedy bingo card with nearly every square ticked. Disproportionate best friends, eccentrics who fail group outings, insane outings, free-spirited sex, projectile vomiting, and indulgent debauchery involving alcohol and other beverages. drugs, and important plot points hang on intimate body parts.

Directed by “Crazy Rich Asians” co-writer Adele Lim, the film may not reinvent the wheel of lunch com (“Hangover,” “Girls Trip,” See “Bridemaids”), and who’s driving the work will change. car. And most importantly, it’s really, really funny.

“Joy Ride” takes all the familiar elements and cuts them into a barrage of sustained, sometimes almost rabid jokes sprinkled with epic set pieces. That’s right up to his two-thirds mark before the movie is forced into a corner and he hits the eject button on “Serious Sentiment” before he narrowly escapes. The price to pay for the inspirational havoc that precedes this is small.

The ill-matched friends here are Audrey (the brainy Ashley Park from Emily in Paris) and Rollo (the acerbic Sherry-Cola). They have been best friends since childhood and bonded over being her only two Asian women in the Pacific. northwest town.

Adopted by a white couple from China, Audrey grows up to be a serious lawyer who sticks to her career. She was sent to Beijing to seal her contract and her promotion depends on her success. She takes the irrepressible Lolo with her because she speaks very little Chinese. Completing the comic super-team is Rollo’s socially clumsy cousin, Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), whose superpowers are a wealth of K-pop knowledge, and Audrey’s college roommate, Kat (Stephanie Wu). Su, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”) and is now a screen star in China. and engaged to her very brawny and very Christian co-star (Desmond Chiam).

Ultimately, Audrey decides to find her biological mother, and the four women set off on an adventurous journey that soon devolves into a series of mishaps. The shenanigans come at breakneck speed, culminating in a repurpose of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s hit “WAP,” which could become a late-night karaoke staple in its own right.

The film is particularly acute on identity and assimilation, with screenwriters Cherry Chevapravadumron and Teresa Hsiao addressing the expectations and stereotypes placed on Asians and Asian Americans (including self-imposed ones). Have fun. The seams only show up towards the end, when the film slows down, but the chemistry and impeccable timing of the cast remains solid nonetheless.

As Straight Arrow’s protagonist, Park pulls off tricks similar to Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. Her character acts as a narrative engine while simultaneously setting up comedic opportunities for other characters.

If there is justice, Mr. Park will soon become a celebrity. But this is true of the entire core quartet, effectively exploiting the film’s many opportunities to shine. Full-fledged summer has arrived with “Joy Ride”.


Rated R for vigorous sexuality, bilingual foul language, brief nudity, heavy use of drugs and alcohol. Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes. at the theater.

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