Joy Ride Review: The Year’s Funniest Comedy

The R-rated big screen comedy is back – and more diverse than ever.

The R-rated big screen comedy is back – and more diverse than ever.

With film studios increasingly on the alert for offbeat or controversial comedy, this summer is set to be one to remember. Hollywood has bet on movies like No Hard Feelings and The Blackening, and now Joy Ride. The film marks Adele Lim’s feature film debut, having previously co-written Crazy Rich Asians and Raya and the Last Dragon.

Joy Ride is the funniest comedy of the year. The film is a head turner from start to finish, with impeccable humor in the charming lead actors. Comedy like this comes only once and when done well, it blows your mind. It’s a typical female friendship film that relies heavily on hard-hitting R-humour, à la Girls Trip. People from all walks of life will find it hysterical, but it hits those who understand the culture hardest.

Each character feels completely different from the others. Adopted as a baby by a white couple, the protagonist Audrey Sullivan (Ashley Park) doesn’t speak Mandarin. Many second-generation Americans might find Audrey likable, but she has many qualities that make her a charming leading lady. Her childhood best friend is Lolo (Sherry Cola), a sex-positive artist who takes her cousin Deadeye (Sabrina Wu) with her. You meet up with Kat (Stephanie Hsu), a Chinese actress, and we have our ensemble.


The chemistry here is electric. They believe in Audrey’s strong individual friendships with Lolo and Kat. But when Lolo and Kat meet, a tense, hilarious rivalry ensues. At first, Audrey is uncomfortable with the eccentric Deadeye coming along. While Deadeye could have been the annoying character, she could quickly become a fan favorite due to Wu’s excellent portrayal. Park brings a lot of humor and drama to Audrey. Coke might elicit the most laughs of any character in the movie. Hsu, who recently received an Oscar nomination for Everything Everywhere All at Once, is every bit as great as you’d expect from Kat.

Everyone in the film feels like a person you know and would go out for a drink with. This is partly due to the excellent screenwriting by two Family Guy writers: Teresa Hsiao and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, whose name was once Peter Griffin rearranged in “Chemotherapy vanguard vCr.” As two Asian writers, they lend a degree of authenticity to the hilarity on the page. For example, lucky cats become licking cats. Sex, drugs, and their commitment to hilarity and ridicule are a big part of humor.

Lim handles the chaotic hilarity like a pro. The comedic set pieces are pure gold and will make you laugh. There was a moment that made me scream for the shock factor alone. Although the film undermines many of its more serious moments with jokes, it delivers plenty of emotion in the third act. Joy Ride is a future classic comedy like The Hangover, starring one of the best comedy casts since Bridesmaids. Meet your friends and have a guaranteed great time at the cinema.

RESULT: 8/10

As explained in ComingSoon’s Rating Guidelines, a rating of 8 equates to Great. Although there are a few minor issues, this rating means the artwork achieves its goal and leaves an unforgettable impression.

Disclosure: ComingSoon attended a press screening for our Joy Ride review.