‘Joy Ride’ gets rave reviews, 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating after SXSW premiere

‘Joy Ride’ gets rave reviews, 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating after SXSW premiere‘Joy Ride’ gets rave reviews, 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating after SXSW premiere
via Lionsgate Movies
Ryan General
March 24, 2023
Oscar-nominee Stephanie Hsu’s latest film “Joy Ride” has been receiving early positive reviews since its premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film & TV Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 17. 
The raunchy, R-rated comedy, which also stars Ashley Park (“Emily in Paris”), Sherry Cola (“Shortcomings”) and Sabrina Wu, is the directorial debut of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” screenwriter Adele Lim
“Joy Ride” centers on four Asian-American women who travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers.
As of this writing, the film currently boasts a “100% Certified Fresh” rating on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 critic reviews.
Awards Watch reviewer Kevin L. Lee praised the cast and film for their portrayal of uniquely Asian American internal struggles:

Feeling like you’re stuck between the “Asian” and the “American” is not a new concept in mainstream comedies. “Crazy Rich Asians” touched on this back in 2018. But even so, those ideas are wrapped around the premise of a wedding, of having to impress your potential in-laws. With “Joy Ride,” much of the existential crises in Audrey resides in internal conflicts that are far too relatable for this Asian American, from feeling like you have to prove yourself at all times to just wanting to be known for your talents and passion rather than your background.

While TheWrap’s Lex Briscuso was similarly enamored by the cast’s performance, she highlighted Wu’s portrayal as the “funniest” of them all:

But the MVP of “Joy Ride”’s cast is Sabrina Wu, who plays the quirky, quiet and sweet Deadeye, Lolo’s cousin who tags along for the trip. Wu’s Deadeye is potentially the funniest member of the central quad while also being the most sincere of the group. Their passion for Kpop is an incredibly entertaining avenue to explore, and their shy personality is such a welcomed juxtaposition to the other characters. Plus, their character is endlessly earnest, and they play that kind of delicate introspection so well.

In her review, IndieWire’s Marisa Mirabal noted the unique perspectives and cultural relevance that representation in movies brings:

While shows like “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” explore the Asian American experience in the US, “Joy Ride” stands apart by having its characters travel to China and eventually South Korea. This cultural immersion is challenging for Audrey because she feels as though she doesn’t belong anywhere. She is too Asian for America and too White for Asia. This struggle is one of the many important and relatable experiences featured in the film. Each writer and actor brought aspects of their own personal experiences to the story and used improv several times while filming, which heightens the emotion and inclusive narrative to make it that much more genuine.

The film, which is set to hit theaters on July 7, has already captured its first award, the CinemaCon award for comedy ensemble of the year, which the cast will receive during the Big Screen Achievement Awards in Las Vegas on April 27.
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