‘Joy Ride’ director Adele Lim responds to critic who said her film ‘targets white people’

‘Joy Ride’ director Adele Lim responds to critic who said her film ‘targets white people’‘Joy Ride’ director Adele Lim responds to critic who said her film ‘targets white people’
LightsCameraJackson (left), Good Morning America (right)
Ryan General
July 7, 2023
“Joy Ride” director Adele Lim gave a humorous response to a critic who labeled her directorial debut “incredibly unpleasant.” 
Unjoyful tweet: The critic, Jackson Murphy of Lights Camera Jackson, took to Twitter to express his discontent with the R-rated film and accuse it of “objectifying men” and “targeting white people.”
 “#JoyRide is embarrassing. Incredibly unpleasant,” Murphy wrote. “Like most modern adult ‘comedies,’ it’s raunchy simply to be raunchy, forgetting there has to be humor attached, and there’s none of that. Objectifies men, targets white people. All shock value, ‘look at me’ attitude.”
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Lim’s response: Rather than dismissing the critique, Lim responded by saying she wanted a T-shirt with Murphy’s quote.
“Imma need ‘Objectifies men, targets white people’ on a tshirt,” she wrote.
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Twitter users respond: Other Twitter users, however, did not hold back with their responses:
“I mean you don’t have to like everything, obviously, but what or whom does this embarrass?” a commenter asked. “Film? People? You? I can’t take critiques like that seriously.”
“A white guy doesn’t approve of a movie made for the Asian community, and their allies,” another wrote. “Big surprise. I’m utterly shocked 🙄 honestly, hush.”
Some even expressed having more interest in the movie after reading the review: “So we should definitely get watch it in theaters. Got it,” one user tweeted, while another said, “They should put this review in their marketing campaign, because you’re selling the Hell out of this movie.”
Some also pointed out that Murphy had previously criticized other acclaimed Asian American films, most notably “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“#EverythingEverywhereAllAtOnce is messy,” he tweeted in April. “Overblown action, editing and attempts at satire (‘Ratatouille’? Really?) don’t work. Most of all I figured out the (simple) core themes and goals *very* early on: reconnection, growing up, life paths. From a story standpoint no surprises.”
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“🤷 Lol, maybe this guy doesn’t enjoy critically acclaimed films from Asian filmmakers and actors,” noted Very Asian, who highlighted his reviews for other critically acclaimed movies from Asian Americans. “His loss.”
About the film: Penned by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao, “Joy Ride” premiered at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 17 and was officially released in the U.S. on Friday. 
“Joy Ride” takes viewers on a wild journey as an Asian American adoptee, played by Ashley Park, embarks on a quest across China to find her birth mother. Accompanied by her three friends, portrayed by Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu and Sabrina Wu, the group’s adventure takes an unexpected turn when they encounter a drug smuggler aboard a train.
As of this writing, the film holds a 91% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 105 critic reviews and an 89% audience score based on over 50 verified ratings.
Relatable “Asian American experiences”: Lim, who screenwrote “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Raya and the Last Dragon,” told NextShark in an interview in March that each of the four “Joy Ride” protagonists are meant to be relatable to different viewers. 

We realized all of us are part Audrey or have part Lolo or have a part Deadeye in us. We had friends who inspired aspects of each character. We were also interested in different Asian American experiences, just like trying to fit in where you are on that spectrum. If you’re super comfortable, if it’s not as much part of your day-to-day identity. It’s all correct. There’s no wrong to it. But it’s fun to throw all those characters in and see them mix it up.

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