‘Joy Ride,’ originally called ‘Joy F*ck Club,’ is getting great reviews

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I’m looking forward to seeing Joy Ride. The movie looks absolutely hilarious and all I knew about the concept was that it’s a raunchy comedy in which four Asian American leads head to China on a business trip that turns into a search for the biological mom of Ashley Park’s character, who was adopted by a white American family. Early reviews show Joy Ride at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes: critics love it and say it’s just as funny and raunchy as the trailer looks. Some highlights:

From The Washington Post: If it sounds odd to call a film in which characters shove cocaine into various orifices earnest and beautiful, that is the line that “Joy Ride” straddles (and I mean “straddle” quite literally at times). On the one hand, Audrey struggles to come to terms with feeling neither White enough nor Asian enough. Believe it or not, the juxtaposition is expertly handled. On the theme of identity, “Joy Ride” pays attention to small but crucial details: using chopsticks to eat bagged chips, Audrey hating the smell of oranges (which in Asia are said to bring good luck and happiness), or Kat and Lolo hilariously lamenting the frustrations of visiting family in China. Without these rich tidbits, the story would be just another hollow road trip. The intricacies and complex relationships elevate the story, painting a full picture of the first-generation Chinese immigrant experience.

From The Chicago Sun-Times: Female-fronted ensemble comedies are still relatively rare, but with “Bridesmaids” setting the tone some 12 years ago (!), we’ve since had “Trainwreck” and “Booksmart” and “Girls Trip” and “The Heat” and now comes “Joy Ride,” which had a working title of “The Joy F— Club” and that would have been amazing and absolutely accurate. This is a ferociously funny, raunchy, bold and original buddy comedy with a mostly female, Asian American lead cast that teams up with director Adele Lim to deliver the funniest movie of 2023 so far.

From The Seattle Times: Drugs and sex ensue, in vast and creative quantities and combinations, and yet with “Joy Ride” something else emerges as well: a surprisingly gentle story of friendship and identity.

From The Austin Chronicle: Joy Ride slides comfortably into the tradition of hard-R road-trip movies while also demonstrating that American culture still has many areas to open up in terms of representation.

From Tribune News Service: Hilariously daring, deeply moving, and stereotype-busting in equal measure, “Joy Ride” is also the raunchiest movie to most likely to make you shed a tear.

I didn’t read every single review because I didn’t want to learn too much in advance, but the ones I did read filled in some of the blanks about the plot and the characters. But I’m not spoiled yet and I’m super excited to see this movie. Honestly, I was sold when I saw the first trailer and even more so when I learned that the working title was the “Joy F*ck Club.” Apparently the movie lives up to its original name, while conveying a deeper and more meaningful message about friendship, family, identity, and belonging. I’m glad that a movie like this will broaden Asian American female representation, showing more facets of people in all their wild, complicated glory. A lot of the reviews mention raunchy buddy comedies like Bridesmaids, Girls’ Trip, and The Hangover, but from what I’ve heard so far it seems like Joy Ride is its own very unique thing.

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11 Responses to “‘Joy Ride,’ originally called ‘Joy F*ck Club,’ is getting great reviews”

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  1. Twin Falls says:

    I’m excited to see this movie but I won’t go to the theater to see it.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Same. I’m done with theaters. Even more so because there are so few left they’re even more crowded and gross. But I’m definitely gonna support this movie.

  2. Nlopez says:

    This looks good! I’ll check it out for sure.

  3. Blueberry 🫐 says:

    I hadn’t heard of this movie before. Looks like a fun watch. Will def check it out!

  4. Lightpurplek says:

    The misogynistic racists at the DW are whining about it so I will definitely see it in theaters

  5. DeeSea says:

    @Peridot, I love that you’re hyping this movie! I’m as excited to see it as you are! I haven’t been to a movie theater since early 2020, and this might be the movie that gets me back in the door.

  6. Green Desert says:

    Can’t wait to see this!

  7. QuiteContrary says:

    So psyched to see this.

  8. goofpuff says:

    I am totally ready to go see this movie!

  9. SarahCS says:

    Ooh thanks for sharing, this looks fun. My friend and I started going to our local independent cinema in March (two seaters sofas and wine, food, etc. while you watch) and while it’s even more expensive than regular cinema it’s not like we go out anymore so it’s worth it. Having not been at all since pre-covid we’re really enjoying seeing movies on the big screen. This will go on the list.

  10. Elsa says:

    I wish they had mentioned Girls Trip which is one of the funniest movies ever and came out after Bridesmaids.