The plot involves Audrey getting tasked with closing an important contract with a new client — who happens to be Chinese. Despite what she told the people at her office, Audrey doesn’t know any Mandarin and is not really that connected to Chinese traditions and customs. Still, she does want to make partner at her law firm, so she employs Lolo to help translate as they travel to China to close the deal in person. They are also unexpectedly joined by Lolo’s awkward K-Pop-loving cousin, Deadeye (an incredible Sabrina Wu), and later by Audrey’s college roommate turned TV star, Kat (Oscar-nominee Stephanie Hsu).
“Joy Ride” is a hilarious film that has all the female friendship fun and authenticity of something like “Girls Trip” with the sheer absurd and raunchy humor of a Judd Apatow movie — which makes sense since the film is produced by Seth Rogen. The raunchy humor should not come as a surprise given that the film is written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao, who have plenty of experience writing for the rather raunchy and successful “Family Guy.”
The result of this partnership is a film that doesn’t erase decades of exoticization and sexualization of Asian women as much as it reclaims the narrative and allows a group of Asian American women to be messy, to be horny, and to be hilarious. Lim doesn’t just sit on her laurels and allows the script to do the heavy lifting, however, as she recognizes the value of physical comedy — whether it is an American girl forcing the group to hide her contraband of drugs on a moving train, an absurdly long sex scene, or a phenomenal music video that spirals out of control.