JOY RIDE is a raunchy, unhinged, and unique comedy with just enough heart to keep viewers caring. Yet, it deftly avoids the pitfall of being melodramatic, navigating surprisingly serious topics of cultural identity and belonging. I wasn’t surprised to see Seth Rogen’s name in the credits; the movie puts its characters into the signature silly and bizarre diversions that reminded me of some of his signature vessels.
JOY RIDE the overachieving Audrey (Ashley Park) on a business trip to China, accompanied by her slacker best friend Lolo (Sherry Cola), Lolo’s BTS-obsessed cousin Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), and Audrey’s college buddy Kat (Stephanie Hsu). The movie works because of the dynamics between these four characters; they play off each other so well, with a standout performance from Hsu (who I almost didn’t recognize; she completely disappears into her characters).
I’m excited to see more from this creative team; director and producer Adele Lim is best known as the screenwriter of CRAZY RICH ASIANS and RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, and writers Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao have worked on FAMILY GUY, THE ORVILLE, and AMERICAN DAD. Most comedies don’t need sequels…but I wouldn’t be upset if the JOY RIDE continued.
JOY RIDE is now playing in theaters.