Joy Ride uses an important business venture to set up plenty of raucous silly set-pieces that may not always hit and can be a bit disjointed as a disparate distaff quartet inhabits notions of identity and culture with brio and sensitivity.
The inner naughtiness arises from Ashley Park’s rising corporate lawyer Audrey, ‘sex positive’ struggling artist and interpreter Lolo (Sherry Cola), Stephanie Hsu’s college roommate and Chinese soap star Kat and Lolo’s eccentric cousin ‘Deadeye’ (Sabrina Wu). The backbone of the narrative is buoyed by the relationship of adopted Audrey and no-nonsense Lolo beginning from a childhood prologue and a later montage into adulthood.
Filmmaker Adele Lim does a decent job handling the retooling of the typical road movie in smutty fashion that won’t sit well with those of the misogynistic ink as business can grind once the motley quartet tees up the revery from karaoke, slap-fighting and hoops, not to mention a little K-Pop to boot. For what is represented well to their Far-East ethnicity, the unfiltered farce has a sincere angle that has an unexpected pull given the predicament Audrey and her friends find themselves in. “Joy Ride” celebrates friend and family while not avoiding illegal derring-do.