Joy Ride is a raucous comedy which provides lots of laughs but has an endearing message at its core.
Joy Ride tells the story of Audrey and Lolo, two best friends with different upbringings who first bond based on their shared Chinese heritage. Audrey was adopted by American parents as a baby whereas Lolo and her Chinese parents moved to America. As such Audrey had a very ‘Western’ upbringing whilst Lolo, in contrast, had a more traditional Chinese upbringing.
This provides the backbone of the film with most of the jokes playing on this dynamic. The two go to China on a business trip and meet up with Audrey’s college best friend Kat and Lolo’s cousin Deadeye and hilarity ensues as they navigate their new surroundings whilst trying to close a business deal which gets tied into a need for Audrey to find her birth mother.
Some cultural comedies can be difficult to relate to for audiences as if you aren’t from or familiar with that culture jokes can go over your head. Joy Ride however does a very good job of making most of the comedic elements relatable to all viewers.
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It’s also common in comedy ensemble films for only one or two of the main cast to be elevated whilst others get marginalised, but Joy Ride does a great job of balancing the comedic highlights among the four main characters with each one having multiple memorable moments and none feeling solely like ancillary characters.
As well as laughs there may well be a few tears as the story of Audrey attempting to find her birth mother reaches a heart wrenching conclusion and the central theme of ‘being yourself’ balances the constant comedy.
Joy Ride is extremely entertaining, comes highly recommended and hits cinemas on Aug. 4th. Watch the official Trailer here