Joy Ride: A Raunchy Laugh Riot

Sabrina Wu as Deadeye, Sherry Cola as Lolo, Stephanie Hsu as Kat, and Ashley Park as Audrey in Joy Ride. Photo credit: Ed Araquel.

Joy Ride is a raunchy laugh riot that will leave audiences hurting from how hard they’ve been laughing throughout the film.

Between No Hard Feelings, Joy Ride, and Bottoms, it’s already a good summer for the raunchy comedy. I’ve seen all three of them and it makes you wonder why studios are not releasing them more often. The latter two films premiered at SXSW, which is a great festival to launch this kind of film. What I wouldn’t do to be able to experience these films with a film festival audience but that’s beside the point. You will not regret your decision to watch this film. I had a forking blast while watching it.

Asian American adoptee Audrey (Ashley Park) is an attorney who has everything she could have when we first meet her. She’s still living in the town of White Hills with best friend Lolo (Sherry Cola) living in her garage. The two have been close friends ever since learning they were met each other. The script plays up their first meeting in a humorous way but it’s a friendship at first sight. Anyway, Audrey wants to take her life to the next level, even if it means moving to LA and leaving her family and friends behind. Of course, this is easier said than done Comedy movie law dictates that anything that can go wrong….will go wrong. By bringing along Lolo and Lolo’s cousin, Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), it automatically means the trip will be a recipe for disaster. After landing, they’ll be joined by Audrey’s famous college roommate Kat (Stephanie Hsu).

Here’s what you need to know about the rest of the film: it is raunchy AF. How often are you going to find a comedy, let alone a movie, with a sex montage like Joy Ride? Not that often, at least in recent years. Studios are not making the raunchy comedy as much as they used to. You can barely find them on streaming services. New films, not the previous films that are currently on a streaming service. Who is filling the void? Hardly anyone, it seems. We’re very lucky that we get at least three of them this year!

Visually, they achieve the impossible. No, not Mission: Impossible. They somehow manage to recreate the likes of China and Korea in Vancouver. This is not an easy feat by any means but the film proves that it is possible. Beyond the film’s production design, the costume design evolves throughout the film.

You have to go back to the 2007 or so to find a film with this many jokes about sex. In all honesty, it’s not surprising that the Point Grey team of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, and Josh Fagen are among the film’s producers. This is exactly the type of film that I would expect them to shepherd. It is forking hysterical until it is not. That’s right. On paper, the film is all laughs. But when you experience it in person, it becomes something else during the third act. It gets…emotional. I give a lot of credit to the film team–especially editor Nena Erb–in handling the transition from comedy to drama. Other than this part of the film, Joy Ride is a very raunchy laugh riot.

In directing Joy Ride, Adele Lim hits a home run out of the park with her first feature film. We’re looking at one of the best comedies of the year. Run, do not walk, to see Joy Ride!

SCREENWRITERS: Cherry Chevapravatdumrong & Teresa Hsiao
CAST: Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, Sabrina Wu, Ronny Chieng, Meredith Hagner, David Denman, Annie Mumolo, Timothy Simons, Desmond Chiam, Baron Davis, Lori Tan Chinn, Alexander Hodge, Chris Pang

Lionsgate will release Joy Ride in theaters on July 7, 2023. Grade: 4.5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.