FILM REVIEW: Joy Ride
You may be surprised at how much you end up caring about these characters
In a similar vein to Bridesmaids, Bros and Good Boys, Joy Ride is the latest representational raunch-comedy, this time for Asians. Audrey is the Chinese adoptive child of two white parents in America who has never met her birth mother. But when a business trip to China presents itself, and through some encouragement from her friends, the group of friends take this as an opportunity to find her birth mother, getting into some foul-mouthed, drug-fuelled, sexually explicit scrapes along the way.
Oddly fast-paced from the get-go, Joy Ride goes for every joke going, rarely giving the audience a chance to breathe. While, to begin with, it can feel like it’s trying too hard, wavering between being genuinely funny and being slightly annoying, the leading quartet of characters really get you on board. You have Audrey the normal one, Lolo the crude one, Kat the bad-girl-turned-good, and Deadeye the weird one. Each of them gets their moment to shine, Sabrina Wu’s Deadeye being a standout, and the comedic set pieces only get more outrageous and hilarious.
As shocking, as vulgar, as repulsive the film can be, the real surprise of Joy Ride is how much heart it has. Each of the girls have their own thing they’re working through and a heartbreaking sequence towards the end makes you realise how much you like these characters. Despite these girls’ differences and the animosities some of them hold, there is always an undercurrent of friendship that feels true.
Joy Ride is a comedy that is always trying and that succeeds way more than it fails. This is a good time for anyone who enjoys crude humour, and you may be surprised at how much you end up caring about these characters.