Joy Ride is a 2023 American comedy film directed by Adele Lim, in her feature directorial debut. The movie follows four Asian 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.
S P O I L E R S
The main character of Joy Ride is Audrey Sullivan (Ashley Park), a Chinese adoptee with white parents, who lives in White Hills, Seattle, with her childhood best friend, Lolo Chen (Sherry Cola).
Audrey is an overachiever who works as a lawyer at a prestigious firm, while Lolo struggles to make ends meet as an artist.Promised a promotion to partner if she can close a deal with Chao, a Chinese businessman, Audrey and Lolo take a trip to China, joined by Lolo’s cousin Vanessa, nicknamed “Deadeye”, who is socially awkward and obsessed with K-pop. In Beijing, Audrey meets with her college roommate and close friend Kat, who is an actress on a popular daytime show.
As it turns out, in order for her to close the deal, Audrey has to bring her birth mother to Chao’s mother’s 70th birthday party, which leads the four ladies through an improbable “joy ride” that involves sex, drugs and …. K-pop (?). There are twists and turns along the way before Audrey discovers the truth about herself and she resolves her character arc in the most predictable manner.
As a raucous, R-rated comedy, the movie mostly succeeds. The four characters would probably be relatable to an Asian-American audience, especially millennials, as much of the humour may escape older viewers. As an all-female ensemble piece, it tries its best to emulate the profane humour of something like Bridesmaids. Good enough.
Watch now on Amazon
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