‘Joy Ride’ review: A hilarious yet heartfelt buddy movie that has all the right notes

There is something about friendship that makes a girl’s heart sing. No one understands you the way your closest girlfriends do, and no one can pick up the pieces when things go wrong the way they do. And things do Step aside in Adele Lim’s hilarious directorial debut The Fun Ride, a sweet mix of buddy comedy and girl travel movie that will make you laugh so much you’ll cry and then really cry and laugh. a bit more. It’s such a bold and heartfelt film that highlights the concepts of family, maternal bonds, and what makes you happy, along with all of its unrestrained and risky fun.

The rowdy comedy follows Audrey Ashley Park, a Chinese woman adopted by white parents in a predominantly white suburban town. As a child, she meets and becomes best friends with Lolo of Sherry Cola, a rebellious free spirit who is Audrey’s opposite in almost every way. When Audrey’s high-profile position forces her to make a deal in Beijing, Lolo seizes the chance to accompany her friend, who has more to do with her white upbringing than her Asian roots, on a trip to their homeland. As you might expect, chaos follows from there.

From the outset, it’s simply impossible to deny how insanely fun this buddy comedy is, and for that, the film has two extremely prolific Family Guy writers to thank. The reputations of Cherry Chevaprawatdumrong and Teresa Xiao precede them, and they are credited with over 60 episodes of The Seth MacFarlane Show. They are consummate comedians and it was great to see them showcase their skills in such an inspiring female-dominated film. Their script is smart, lewd and sincere in equal measure, oscillating between sex comedy and emotional drama as the film progresses. The work of Chevapravatdumrong and Hsiao is kept at a perfect pace, every comedic and dramatic moment with a seasoned craftsmanship that is well felt in their wheelhouse. Their ability for dramatic and emotional moments is just as strong as their penchant for killer comedies, and the story they created with Lim is a perfect fit for both genres – and it makes for a good time.

Chevapravatdumrong and Xiao’s ideal script is hilariously brought to life by a flawless, deeply dedicated cast, each one endlessly entertaining and joyful to watch. Pak is a strong central character who juggles the demands of her life and time for fun with the precision of the most matriarchal person in the group of friends. She enjoys experiencing a role that suits her so well, and her chemistry with the rest of the film’s cast is critical to how well the film will work with audiences (and trust me, she plays Fine).

Cola is incredibly funny like Lolo, with a quick and raw wit that is sure to keep viewers laughing long after the credits. She has some of the film’s funniest jokes – an early scene discussing a controversial tattoo is just one example – and each one is delivered with more self-confident comedic skill than the last. Academy Award nominee Stephanie Hsu becomes the third girlfriend in the group named Kat, Audrey’s college roommate turned famous Chinese actress. If you’ve been waiting for a worthy follow-up to Xu’s Anywhere, Look no further than this movie. She is blissfully hysterical, fully embodying a woman struggling to renew herself in the eyes of the faith-based relationships she is trapped in. connects with.

But the MVP in Fun Ride is Sabrina Wu, who plays the quirky, quiet, and sweet Dead Man, Lolo’s cousin, who follows her on the ride. Wu’s Deadeye is potentially the funniest member of the middle four, as well as the most sincere of the group. Their passion for K-pop is an incredibly exciting avenue to explore, and their shy personality is such a nice pairing with the other characters. In addition, their nature is infinitely serious, and they act out this subtle introspection so well. Dead Dai’s heart is on Wu’s sleeve and that’s what makes their character so effective. This four-piece band seems so three-dimensional and real with their dialogue that adding these performances to the mix further heightens the effect; In a word, any viewer would like to become part of this charismatic circle of friends.

After writing Crazy Rich Asians with Peter Chiarelli, Lim’s street credibility in Hollywood skyrocketed, and she went on to work on the 2021 animated film Raya and the Last Dragon. However, audiences have been waiting for her to return to form, and while she’s in the director’s chair this time around, Fun Ride is definitely a return to form. Lim shows viewers that her lively and electrifying style is impeccable in both writing and directing. Her writing skills clearly influenced her directorial vision, seeing the overall picture of the film as a riot in her Crazy Rich Asians script. After such a tense comedy, it’s clear that Lim has drawn the directorial lens of The Fun Ride from her own wild imagination and, of course, the rise, fall, and rebirth of enduring friendships, a topic she explores quite well.

To top it all off, this film admiration is beautifully proud of its Asian underpinnings. He goes out of his way to make sure that Asian women are raucous, lewd and real, so that they take their place and not play the stereotype of being reserved. It also gives Asian men the opportunity to be portrayed and viewed as utterly handsome, which is the complete opposite of popular stereotypes about them. These central concepts are key to one of the film’s core messages: It’s beautiful and honestly celebrated to be who you really are, to hell with perception. Whether it means it’s time to grow up or find a new way to move forward, “Joy Ride” gleefully reminds us that life’s biggest obstacles and surprises are best experienced in the warm embrace of close camaraderie – after all, there’s nothing like pure, unbridled friendship. .

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