HOLLYWOOD—It is being compared to the comedy “Bridesmaids” and “Girls Trip.” For those not in the know, those R-rated flicks with an all-female cast were hilarious from pushing the boundaries. I prefer not to spoil those laughs in those flicks, but just watch them. Now, we can add another film to that caliber with “Joy Ride.” This flick is much funnier than I ever expected and I think it works because there is such strong chemistry with the all Asian cast.
It is something that is a rarity with cinematic arena, especially when we’re discussing comedy, and a comedy that is this raunchy when it comes to dialogue and antics. However, it was indeed fresh and intriguing to witness. I rarely do comedies, but I laughed my tail off watching this movie, it was a fantastic time. The foursome of Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, Sherry Cola and Sabrina Wu are incredible on the screen. As a spectator you feel these women are friends or ladies who would travel together.
Park portrays Audrey who is an accomplished lawyer, who is adopted. Her parents happen to be White and that is just the start of some of the jokes that unfold throughout the movie. Her bestie is Lolo (Cola), who I loved on the screen. She is blunt, curt and has a carefree attitude that as a viewer you sometimes wish you could behave the same way. There is a gut-punching scene in the opening of the movie that left me in stitches between Audrey and Lolo when they were kids. It just tells you exactly what you’re going to get with this comedy and I loved it.
There are plenty of comedies that rely on gross-out moments, and you have a few here, but what works so well for “Joy Ride” is the dialogue. The actual words that come out of these ladies mouths is just absolutely funny. I love a funny joke or witty banter. There is a scene that occurs in this movie that whew, I won’t say much, but when you see it, it will change how you perceive certain objects in the world. That is all I will say. Hsu, who many may recall from the Oscar-winner “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is incredibly funny here, pushing the boundaries and showing a lot of depth as an actress. I had to think, wait is that the girl from that sci-fi action extravaganza? Yeah, that is here and she can do comedy people.
Wu as Deadeye is a character whose presence alone is hilarious and her antics involving K-Pop and just breaking the ice with the ladies when there are awkward moments is the testament to perfect comedic timing. You might ask what the narrative is. Audrey is traveling overseas to seal a big deal and in the process Lolo, her cousin Deadeye, and her college pal, Kat (Hsu), who has a sexually fluid history, comes into question in a big way people. Their journey involves antics with basketball players, crude jokes about judging a book by a cover and a scene on a train with drugs that is beyond hilarious people.
I heard this movie was funny, but never in a million years did I expect it to be this funny. The script is sharp as hell, the chemistry between the actresses is perfection and the narrative is just as solid and tells you that we might have a new “Hangover” franchise here showcasing an ethnic group that rarely gets to shine in the comedic world in Hollywood. It is also a tale about friendship that tugs at the heart, so you get a little bit of everything and “Joy Ride” delivers laughter from start to finish.