Starring Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, Sabrina Wu
In the rollicking new comedy “Joy Ride,” director Adele Lim takes audiences on a riotous journey of self-discovery and friendship that is as funny as it is heartfelt. With a talented ensemble cast led by Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu, this film proves to be an unapologetically explicit romp that leaves no taboo unturned.
From the beginning, “Joy Ride” establishes its irreverent tone with side-splitting misadventures. Audrey (Ashley Park), a businesswoman on a trip to Asia, finds herself in a precarious situation that only her childhood best friend, Lolo (Sherry Cola), can help navigate. Joined by Kat (Stephanie Hsu), Audrey’s Chinese soap star college friend, and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin, this quartet embarks on an adventure filled with wild debauchery and unexpected moments of self-discovery.
Lim’s direction is dynamic and energetic, perfectly capturing the chaotic nature of the characters’ escapades. The pacing is snappy, and the film never lingers for too long on any one moment, keeping the audience engaged and eager for what’s to come. Lim’s visual style is equally vibrant, infusing every frame with a colorful and lively aesthetic that matches the film’s exuberant tone.
The performances in “Joy Ride” are an absolute delight. Ashley Park shines as Audrey, perfectly balancing vulnerability and comedic timing. Her chemistry with Sherry Cola’s Lolo is palpable, and their scenes together provide some of the film’s funniest and most heartfelt moments. Stephanie Hsu brings charisma and charm to the role of Kat, while Sabrina Wu’s portrayal of Deadeye adds a delightful touch of eccentricity to the mix. The ensemble cast works seamlessly together, creating a dynamic and infectious energy that is impossible to resist.
Lim, who also wrote the script for “Crazy Rich Asians,” co-wrote the story. The screenplay fearlessly embraces its explicit nature. The dialogue is sharp and peppered with witty one-liners that elicit uproarious laughter. It fearlessly tackles themes of identity, self-acceptance, and the importance of true friendship while maintaining an unapologetic and irreverent approach.
Amidst the raucous laughter and wild escapades, Joy Ride finds moments of tenderness and introspection.
The film’s soundtrack is a vibrant celebration of Asian culture, blending contemporary beats with traditional melodies. It enhances the film’s energetic atmosphere and adds extra excitement to the on-screen antics. Additionally, the cinematography captures the beauty of the locations, immersing the audience in the vibrant and diverse world that Audrey and her friends traverse.
One of the film’s greatest strengths is balancing outrageous comedy with genuine emotional depth. Amidst the raucous laughter and wild escapades, “Joy Ride” finds moments of tenderness and introspection. It reminds us that true joy comes from being connected to who we are and the people we share our lives with.
“Joy Ride” is a testament to the power of diverse storytelling. It not only showcases a predominantly Asian cast but also embraces its characters’ unique experiences and perspectives. Doing so delivers a universally relatable message of self-discovery and acceptance that resonates in today’s society.
“Joy Ride” is a bawdy, refreshingly honest comedy full of colorful characters and exuberant performances. With Adele Lim’s spirited direction, an outstanding ensemble cast, and a script that fearlessly embraces its explicit nature, the film is an absolute riot from start to finish. It’s a wild journey that will have you laughing out loud, reflecting on your own path to self-discovery, and cherishing the bonds of friendship.
A riotous journey of self-discovery and friendship