I’ve never been to South by Southwest (“SXSW”) in Austin, Texas, where part of the overall set of conferences and art festivals is a film festival. Literally one year after ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once” premiered at SXSW, Joy Ride premiered. I’m only aware of this because of social media, and I watched one of *the* most hilarious, IMHO, Asian Amerian film trailer ever to be released:
“From the producers of Neighbors and the co-screenwriter of Crazy Rich Asians, JOY RIDE stars Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Oscar® nominee Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu. The hilarious and unapologetically explicit story of identity and self-discovery centers on four unlikely friends who embark on a once-in-a-lifetime international adventure. When Audrey’s (Ashley Park) business trip to Asia goes sideways, she enlists the aid of Lolo (Sherry Cola), her irreverent, childhood best friend who also happens to be a hot mess; Kat (Stephanie Hsu), her college friend turned Chinese soap star; and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin. Their no-holds-barred, epic experience becomes a journey of bonding, friendship, belonging, and wild debauchery that reveals the universal truth of what it means to know and love who you are. Also starring Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians), Lori Tan Chinn (Awkwafina is Nora From Queens), David Denman (Greenland), Annie Mumolo (Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar), Desmond Chiam (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Alexander Hodge (Insecure), and Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians).”
Based on the trailer and the reviews published from the SXSW screening, I am going to predict that this will be the biggest Asian American box office and mainstream hit since Crazy Rich Asians. That’s not exactly going to be a surprise considering that the film was co-written by co-writer of Crazy Rich Asians, Adele Lim, who is making her directorial debut with ‘Joy Ride.’ I’d say my favorite review/quote is this:
““Joy Ride” is a prime example of how important representation is on screen and proves that Asian American comedians can be just as funny, raunchy, and successful as their white male counterparts.”
“And of course the trip turns out to be as chaotic as you can imagine. Things go wrong, shenanigans ensue, and our four Asian friends are at the center of it all. Joy Ride is quite a ride indeed. It is every vulgar, nasty, boundary-pushing R-rated comedy you’ve ever seen, except it is put together on the screen with honesty, heart, and Asian pride. The result is one big Joy Fuck Club.”
Given the reviews, it is not too surprising to learn that Seth Rogen and his production company is one of the producers of the film. I’m hoping great things for Joy Ride and am thinking I should reach out to Lionsgate to watch a screener for this film!