There are a few things in this world that personally annoy me more than a bad comedy because comedy is so diverse and broad that you can make almost anything funny. While the idea of a business trip turned girls trip turned chaos has been done frequently, it doesn’t stop the trio of screenwriters consisting of Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teressa Hsiao, and Adele Lim (who also directs) from bringing forth some new flavour of chaos to the comedic genre. To state that Joy Ride is anything short of joyous, would be rather obnoxious and poignant, but it simply is that. This movie is infectiously hilarious with a shocking turn of events that are rather heartwarming and unexpected, it is the hard R raunchy comedy that crosses boundaries tenfold, but also packs the necessary punch needed to bring that rib-splitting humour audiences are looking for.
The film focuses on practical lifetime friends Audrey (Ashley Park) and Lolo (Sherry Cola) as they’ve been friends since their parents introduced them to each other at the age of 5. Despite the fact that their trajectories in life have gone different ways, with Audrey being ambitious and hungry to climb the corporate ladders and become a top associate at a law firm, while Lolo has become more artistic with her sexually charged art, they still remain inseparable. While Audrey is told by her boss Frank (Timothy Simons) to close a deal in China, because he assumes she speaks Chinese, she asks Lolo to come with her to be her unofficial translator, as she doesn’t actually speak Chinese well enough. As the trip launches, Lolo tells Audrey her cousin, Deadeye (Sabrina Wu) is coming along too, against Audrey’s hesitation. Everything is going relatively fine, all things considered, until Audrey decides to blindside Lolo with information that she’s meeting her college roommate/best friend Kat (Stephanie Hsu) in China as well, who also offered to be her official translator for the business deal. This ends up creating a plethora of issues as Kat and Lolo kind of hate each other. With a myriad of chaos brewing between the four friends, the business deal, and the chaos that unfolds throughout, Joy Ride never takes its foot off the gas of comedy and accelerates into heart palpitations from too much laughter.
While Joy Ride certainly is not for everyone as the comedy may be offensive to some, it is a hard R-rated comedy that delivers the goods for the people that know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. The film has so many moments that are jaw-droppingly hilarious and packed with genuine laughter and moments that audiences will not be able to contain themselves. Without spoiling anything there is a running bit about a tattoo, that when it gets its moment to shine it is downright one of the loudest and insane moments in the film that simply cannot prevent audiences from simply dying with laughter.
The true standouts of the movie though are shockingly not Ashley Park, who is fantastic, but Sherry Cola and to an extent, Stephanie Hsu (with the train scene and aftermath) and Sabrina Wu just steal every scene they are in. Again, to reiterate, Ashley Park is fantastic, but her hard-work-driven character – despite getting caught up in some of the antics doesn’t allow her to steal the show as much as Sherry Cola and Stephanie Hsu and Sabrina Wu. It is Sherry who literally takes Joy Ride, runs into the comedy factory and comes out with diamonds and gold of material, she is a revelation in the film and redefines what could be considered funny. Everything about Joy Ride is an absolute delight from the story itself, the heartwarming turn, the comedy, the performances, and the execution audiences will literally leave audiences in stitches holding themselves together from the uproarious laughter they’ve exuded for the last nearly two hours.