Rotten Tomatoes (4/5), Metacritic (8/10), Letterboxd (4/5), Imdb.com (8/10), TMDB.com (4/5)
Bawdy, raunchy humor generally isn’t my style, but, when it’s done with wit, creativity and no-holds-barred originality, it gets my attention quickly, which this filmmaking debut from writer- director Adele Lim captures from the very first line of the picture (and never lets go thereafter). This rapid-fire screwball comedy follows the exploits of four young Asian women (Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Sabrina Wu, Stephanie Hsu) on an outlandish road trip through China that steadily deteriorates but routinely places them in a host of raucously hilarious, debauchery-riddled situations. In doing so, the film steadily serves up huge laughs in a story that’s accurately being billed as a release unlike anything that moviegoers have seen before. While it’s true that the narrative stretches credibility a bit at times and the film has its share of predictable and sweet but sappy moments, those minor faults are vastly overshadowed by its many strengths, including its fine ensemble cast, balanced pacing, and vibrant, colorful, superbly crafted production design. Because of the nature of the humor, however, sensitive viewers may want to skip this one (though it’s truly hard not to laugh, no matter how conservative one’s views might be). “Joy Ride” may not have received much fanfare or pre-release publicity, but it’s one of the funniest comedies to come along in quite some time, and it’s handily one of the best offerings of what has thus far been an otherwise-stunningly disappointing summer movie season. Indeed, get ready to seriously laugh your ass off with this one.