August 4 – 8

August 4 – 8

7 pm Nightly
Rated 14A — 1 hr 35 min

An unapologetically bold, brash raunchfest, this mile-a-minute ‘Joy Ride’ across China is a raunchy romp. Laughs, high energy levels and some outrageous set pieces make this examination of the complex relationship with distant family a fun journey of self-discovery, where four friends travel to China in a trip that goes entertainingly off the rails. Making her feature debut, Adele Lim takes bold risks in this raunchy road trip comedy. The movie walks a fine line between exploring heartfelt questions about belonging and outrageous jokes played for shock value.

The mismatched friends here are Audrey (the brilliant Ashley Park, from “Emily in Paris”) and Lolo (a deliciously acerbic Sherry Cola), who have been best friends since childhood, when they bonded over being the only two Asian girls in their Pacific Northwest town. Joy Ride is keen to prove that cinema’s marginalised groups can be as wild, gross, and playful as the brawling bros of The Hangover or Pineapple Express. To enhance the movie’s whirlwind melee, Paul Yee’s cinematography transports audiences from the banality of Audrey and Lolo’s hometown to the luridly colorful animated sequences of the group’s K-Pop fantasy number and the many stops along the way, from misty country roads and expansive rivers to busy cafes and dimly lit clubs.

As with many an ensemble movie, the strength is in its cast, and Joy Ride is no exception. Led by the central drama between Ashley Park and Sherry Cola’s characters, their relationship shifts and evolves throughout the journey, forcing them to reckon with their moments of self-discovery. Joy Ride offers a modern-comedy bingo card with pretty much all the squares checked: mismatched besties, an oddball crashing a group outing, said outing going wildly off the rails, freewheeling sex, projectile vomiting, unhinged debauchery involving booze and drugs, and a crucial plot point hinging on an intimate body part.

Adele Lim

Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu, with Ronny Chieng, Meredith Hagner, David Denman, Annie Mumolo, Timothy Simons, and Daniel Dae Kim