HCA Gradebook: “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One”June 14, 2023
HCA Gradebook: “Barbie”June 17, 2023
Film: Joy Ride (2023)
Plot: Joy Ride follows four Chinese-American friends as they bond and discover the truth of what it means to know and love who you are, while they travel through China in search of one of their birth mothers.
Cast: Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu
Director: Adele Lim
Release Date: July 7, 2023
Number of Graders: 18
Average Grade: B+
Joy Ride is a crazy, fun trip that sends a universal message of belonging. Also, it’s great to see Asian friends just get to be crazy and wild, which is so different on how Hollywood has treated Asian women and non binary folks. It’s funny. It’s heartwarming. It’s dirty as fuck and I love it.
Director Adele Lim along with co-writers Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao have created a wickedly fun road trip film with a great ensemble cast. This is a movie that isn’t afraid to be both raunchy and heartfelt, as it goes from one insane situation to the next all while tackling racial microaggressions, identity, and the changing landscape of adult friendships. Thankfully, it more than earns its R rating without getting so distracted by being over the top that it forgets to tell a story.
Joy Ride’s heartfelt backbone of friendship unites what could have been a very disorganized string of skits and gags with no emotional backing. We know the predictable arc of momentary friendship failure and necessary relationship-healing forgiveness is coming, and yet we find ourselves unashamedly rooting for that just as hard as the mess. It also lovingly means some of the messes caused by Joy Ride’s buckets are better cleaned up with tissues dotting your eyes more than full-on mops disinfecting entire theater aisles.
A hilarious and powerful depiction of Asian identity, Joy Ride will leave you in tears from both laughter and raw emotion. With its all-star cast of Stephanie Hsu, Sherry Cola, Ashley Park, and Sabrina Wu, who are a guaranteed good time, this movie is filled with necessary cliches that’ll leave you with plenty of food for thought.
If there’s a funnier movie than Joy Ride in the next six months, 2023 will go down as the best year for R-rated comedies since Tropic Thunder stole Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s thunder. This statistic goes to show how few modern R-rated comedies have achieved instant classic status. Joy Ride joins the same ranks as The Hangover, Bridesmaids, and other laugh riots you immediately want to tell your friends about. You also want to promptly buy another ticket to catch any jokes you missed between the crowd’s roaring laughter the first time. In a summer where many mainstream movies have left no impression, Joy Ride is full of moments you’ll never be able to unsee (for better or worse… mostly better).
Joy Ride is much more than a serviceable comedy, or even a comedy that exceeds expectations: it has all the genuine laugh-out-loud moments you want combined with a focused, coherent story and true-to-life interpersonal conflicts. In doing so, Joy Ride makes for a fantastic collective audience experience that is almost certain to hold up on subsequent home viewings. The film tackles hot-button societal issues in a humorous way that feels truly designed to simply allow all of us to laugh at ourselves without diminishing their serious nature. One minor flaw is that insufficient time is given to one of the more complex issues of identity and belonging and, therefore, left me with a sense of longing for the time spent on those great laughs to have been shortened to allow for deeper introspection.
Joy Ride is an absolute trip! Adele Lim has created a new R-rated comedy classic. While the plot derives from your typical “trip abroad gone wrong,” the cast’s performances and chemistry with each other really help set this film apart. However, at its core, this wild journey is also one of self-discovery, recognizing what it means to have a community to belong to.
Kevin L. Lee
Producer Seth Rogen and the folks over at Point Grey and Lionsgate have done something special this time, by keeping the fundamental laughs of a raunchy comedy while giving the space for Asian voices to just be messy and naughty and thirsty and lovely as they are. It’s one thing to see a comedy that can be so nasty yet so sex-positive and empowering. It’s another thing entirely to see all the characters in the comedy to be portrayed by Asian actors. I want Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu together in 10 more movies.
Joy Ride is a funny, heartwarming surprise! What’s really crazy about it is, even better than the comedy, is the heart and sweet messages about self-discovery and friendship! I didn’t think I’d cry but there’s a scene at the end that broke me. That doesn’t mean it won’t have you in stitches from every hilarious moment with this amazing cast of brilliant stars! The chemistry from this ensemble is so potent, and it’s going to be a star-making debut for this cast on par with how The Hangover was a career maker for Bradley Cooper, Galifianakis, and the gang! Insane, hilarious, and full of heart! This is a ride I hope everyone takes!
This RaunchCom never runs out of Gas!
Bursting with laughter and heart, Joy Ride is not only chock-full of ribald comedy, but it’s a wholesome story about friendship which is what grounds these types of movies. Without the firm backbone of these four characters, there wouldn’t be enough to keep the film afloat. A movie made to be watched in a group, Joy Ride should be the next flick you watch with your friends after which none of you will be able to look at a Theragun the same way again.
Joy Ride is incredibly compelling in the way it balances comedy with immense heart. Its themes hit hard and it’s a refreshing representation of Asian people, women in particular, who are often the butt of sexual jokes. Now, they’re the ones telling them.
Loved this one as Dir. Adele Lim brings ‘it’ here as there is nothing like four Asian female leads to give us an amazing raunchy, comedy, yet heartfelt as well. Touched all the right bases for me.
Joy Ride may not be reinventing the way of wacky R-rated comedies, but it’s consistently quite funny, allows each member of the ensemble their time to shine, finds the right ways to emphasize the culture, and leaves enough room for earned sentiment.
It was good to see an Asian female leading cast comedy. There are hilarious moments but not all the jokes worked well. Some of the jokes mocking Chinese or Korean culture may piss off some Asian audiences. And not all women audiences will agree they are acting like the characters in real life. Asians are more reserved and conservative so the movie felt like trying too hard to say it otherwise but didn’t really feel relatable.
Joy Ride is the darndest. I mean fu**in’ a hilarious film! Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, Sherry Cola, and Sabrina Wu are just a treat to watch. It’s got nudity, drugs, sex, and heart, showing that Asian Americans can get down and dirty like the rest of the American comedies.
Joy Ride is very entertaining and has a lot of energy. While the over-the-top humor has always been rather hit or miss for me, there is no denying that the film has a lot of heart to it and the chemistry between the actresses is superb. Adele Lim continues to impress as a director and writer. This film highlights why representation matters because there have been so many sex comedies and yet none have ever featured a talented Asian cast like this one.