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A raunchy comedy that gives thirsty women a chance

Any movie that shows a group of friends grappling and storing cocaine between different parts of their bodies should be viewed with the utmost respect. Joyride features of such a scene. For that reason alone, sex comedies should be the fun of the summer. The movie almost achieves that, but it just falls short of full entertainment.

Still, it comes in just over 90 minutes. Joyride, the fast-paced, intelligent R-rated comedy is well worth the raucous theatrical watch. Adele Lim’s flick matches the likes bridesmaids And Girls trip— which means there’s real emotional depth underneath all the big talk and repetitive tongue. After the characters do 80 lines of coke or show off their “thats pussy,” they also reflect on their identity, question their choices as young Asian women, and analyze their friendships with one another. This may look like an off-kilter color balance. and after, Joyride It feels fresh, while still touching on the emotional parts of friendship.

Although most of the movie follows a group of four people in their late 20s on a “friends’ first annual getaway,” the main conflict is between Audrey (Ashley Park) and Lulu (Cherry Cola). The pair have been best friends ever since their parents forced them to play together in kindergarten. Adopted from China by her white parents as a baby, Audrey constantly struggled with her identity while living in Seattle: She could eat no more than a dash of chili oil, but at the same time, her peers always described her as the smart Asian girl. Brave, stubborn Lulu, who has always been confident about her Chinese identity, is the perfect foil for Audrey’s nerves.

Audrey and Lulu get along incredibly well—like, “sleeping through school nights,” “celebrating the holidays with family,” and “knowing all about each other”—a near level. They’re inseparable — that is, until Audrey (who was voted “most likely to be successful” in high school) goes off to college and meets new sweethearts, such as acting star Kat (Everything is everywhere at once Candidate Stephanie Hsu). Lulu (who was voted “least likely to succeed”) has been left in the dust for quite some time. But Audrey returns to work as a partner in a Seattle law firm, and the couple share a home together. Well, sort of: Audrey lives in the main house, while Lulu works on sex art projects in the penthouse. Nothing will separate them again!

But then a trip to Beijing threatens to call their entire friendship into question. Audrey is hiding a secret from Lulu that could affect the big vacation – “the business trip,” according to Audrey. Audrey’s law practice wants to pitch her to partner and send her to Los Angeles—if She could secure a deal (it is never clear what is meant by “deal”) in China. Suspecting that none of the Chinese businessmen speak English, Audrey just chooses to bring Lulu with her so she can act as the trip’s interpreter. If Lulu succeeds in helping Audrey get the deal, her best friend will thank her by moving to another state. But Lulu is very excited because this is the couple’s first vacation so he can focus on his “business trip,” which is the naming Audrey insists on.

This is enough plot to keep Joyride Get afloat and get a laugh, but after the gang arrives in Beijing — along with another friend, BTS-obsessed Lulu’s cousin Didi (Sabrina Wu) — there’s more chaos stirred into the pot. Kat is going to join the trio, making Lulu angry, because, damn it, Lulu Need He is Audrey’s number. 1 best friend. The tension between the two, executed perfectly by Kula and Hsu – whose personalities are not averse to having the same personality – is flawless and relatable. (Didn’t we all have that friend who tried so hard to be a real friend? And didn’t realize we were trying so hard, just like them?)

Stephanie Hsu, Sherri Cola, Ashley Park, and Sabrina Wu in Joyride.

But the plot gets a little complicated when Audrey’s career story takes on a new shape. Now, in order to convince businessman Zhao (Ronnie Cheng) — who speaks English, in fact, eliminating the need for Lulu’s translation — to sign the deal with her company, Audrey has to introduce at least one of her family members to the Zhao family at a party they’ll throw later. of the week. “The phoenix begets the phoenix,” he says, by way of explanation. Audrey stammers, unsure whether or not to talk about her white parents in America. The trip has not been going well so far. She actually made a fool of herself, regurgitating the shots her other Chinese friends dropped without batting an eye. Lulu steps in to save the day, promising Zhao that he will meet Audrey’s mother by the end of the week.

And so, the friends redirected the trip to a small town outside of Beijing. Lulu believes that because Audrey was adopted out of that area, her mother must be living somewhere there. But after jumping on a train car with a drug smuggler (the always gorgeous Meredith Hagner), the foursome are almost arrested. Fortunately, they are not considered international criminals – they just lose their passports, and then shove a bunch of cocaine and ecstasy down their throats and into their bras. (They would maybe I got off without silence, had it not been for the smuggler blowing white powder everywhere before the police arrived).

Group photo includes Sabrina Wu as Deadeye, Ashley Park as Audrey, Cherry Cola as Lulu, and Stephanie Hsu as Cat in Joy Ride.

Scenes like this — and later, a raunchy sequence in which three out of four friends have crazy sex scenes — lead to some laughs, but they slightly miss the mark of climax fun. Revealing a devil tattoo on a private part is funny, but the joke stops there. Joyride It’s never totally out of the ordinary, but sometimes, the humor isn’t as wild and risqué as it could be. Simply throwing cocaine into the mix or driving characters into threesomes isn’t enough to carry a comedy like this. But the four leads have great chemistry, which means the film’s touchy points make it worth watching, even if the humor doesn’t always land.

Joyride He also sparked a bit of rhetoric online earlier this week after a white male critic Criticize the movie, claiming that it “opposes men” and “targets whites”. Yes, it does both — thank goodness! In fact, those moments, like when Audrey’s friends shame her because she’s never dated an Asian guy, or when Audrey drools over two Asian guys the first she ever slept with, or any of the jokes about Audrey acting like her white parents are some of the film’s best points. . Dirty comedies have historically portrayed women, and are usually all about white people. Take a look at No hard feelings, another sex comedy in theaters right now, which features an almost all-white cast and turns the female lead into a sexual prize for a young man. (It’s a lot more sex positive than that and it definitely isn’t embodiment Women, but Jennifer Lawrence was hired to be a hot lady and date the couple’s teenage son). It’s time to rewrite the script with fun actors like Kula, Park, and Hsoo Woo.

While the humor may not measure up to its R-rated comedy peers, the friendship certainly does. Joyride It is at its best when potential clients untangle their identities, whether as friends or as young Asian women. The plot goes wrong a lot, with conflicts piling up like that thousand-year-old egg that launches the quartet into the club. But at a certain point, they start to feel unimportant. What matters is that these friends have each other, they explore their lives (sometimes humorously, sometimes less comically), and we get Joyride.

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