Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Laugh out loud moments and heart make Joy Ride a winner

Following the highly enjoyable, The Blackening R-rated comedies continue to make a welcome return to cinemas in Joy Ride from Lionsgate Films. Adele Lim directs the film and writes the screenplay with Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao.


Overachiever Audrey (Ashley Park) has the task of seeing a new client for her law firm in China. Audrey was adopted as an infant and doesn’t know much about her heritage. She barely speaks Chinese, which sets up the perfect window for Lolo (Sherry Cola), her irreverent childhood best friend who is also a hot mess, to tag along and serve as a translator.


Also along for the ride are Kat (Stephanie Hsu), Audrey’s college friend turned Chinese soap star, and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin. Naturally, the trip goes sideways, leading to a no-holds-barred, epic experience becoming a journey of bonding, friendship, belonging, and wild debauchery that reveals the universal truth of what it means to know and love who you are.


Joy Ride appears similar to Girls Trip but with four Asian-American women and the group dynamics of Bridesmaids. The script sets up a workable story where Audrey’s Chinese contact thinks it’s important to know where you come from. Audrey decides to look for her biological mother in China to make a good impression at a party for the contact’s mother.


Naturally, a series of comedic hijinks ensure as the quadrant of friends race to the film’s finish line. All of the ladies in the movie get a chance to shine. Ashley Park is our lead, so she’s the butt of some jokes, but it works. Fresh off her Oscar Nomination, Stephanie Hsu effortlessly taps into a sex-positive character trying to practice celibacy for her fiancé. At the same time, Sherry Cola and Sabrina Wu keep the one-liners coming. 


One of the most surprising things about Joy Ride is the film tactfully the racism within the Asian community and sheds light on Audrey’s arduous journey of being an Asian individual raised in a family dominated by whites.


Joy Ride fearlessly shocks with its gross-out gags, but what truly surprises is the successful blending of its raunchy humor with genuine heart, all thanks to the cast’s authentic performances.


Final Grade: B+


Joy Ride is in theaters now.

Movie Clappers

More reviews to explorer


Sugar is enjoyable throwback style mystery

Academy Award Nominee Colin Farrell returns his talents to the small screen in “Sugar” from Apple TV. Iconic screenwriter Mark Protosevich served as showrunner and wrote four episodes. Fernando Meirelles directs all episodes of the series. John Sugar (Farrell), an American private investigator, is investigating the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler).

Diarra from Detroit mixes comedy and mystery

Diarra Kilpatrick, an Emmy Award-winning actress, has partnered with the esteemed executive producer Kenya Barris to showcase her talents in the comedic mystery series “Diarra from Detroit,” exclusively available on the BET+ streaming platform. The narrative follows Diarra (portrayed by Kilpatrick), who is currently undergoing divorce proceedings with Francois, also known as Swa (played by Morris Chestnut). She relocates to her old community after receiving counsel from her confidant, Aja (played by Dominque Perry), and colleague, Mr. Tea (played by Bryan Terrel Clark).

Manhunt is an engaging true crime miniseries

Apple TV has brought to life James L. Swanson’s critically acclaimed non-fiction book “Manhunt” in the form of an enthralling TV series with the same name. The show’s plot revolves around the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the subsequent hunt for John Wilkes Booth, the culprit behind the heinous crime. The program is directed by Carl Franklin and overseen by Monica Beletsky, who serves as the showrunner, ensuring a well-crafted narrative that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish.

Laugh out loud moments and heart make Joy Ride a winner

Laugh out loud moments and heart make Joy Ride a winner