Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

Shock value alone can’t save this R rated comedy from Crazy Rich Asians writer Adele Lim.

PLOT: Four friends travel across China in search of one of their birth mothers.

REVIEW: In the year 2018 the film Crazy Rich Asians was released to near universal acclaim. The film was a cultural landmark as it was not only the first studio film featuring a majority Asian cast in more than 25 years, but it was also a bonafide success, raking $238.5 millions against a budget of $30 million, and it was also a solid film with some genuine laughter. You would have expected a lot more Asian-fronted movies in the future, but there have only been a few. Searching, featuring a John Cho performance that won him an Oscar, The farewell, where Awkwafina was awarded the Golden Globe for the Best Actress in Musical or Comedy, and last year’s multi-Academy Award-winning Everything, Everywhere, All A sequel to Crazy rich Asians has not yet materialized, mainly because Adele Lim, one of the original writers for the film, left the project due to a pay dispute. Lim didn’t sit by and let the story pass her by. She and screenwriters Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, and Teresa Hsiao, crafted a story about a group of Asian friends who traveled to China in search for one of their birthmothers who had given her up for adoption shortly after birth. Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Lionsgate signed a deal to produce the film. Lim was then signed to direct the film. Two years later, we have the R-rated Joy ride. Now, I have to admit that I didn’t think this movie was very funny. It suffered from the same problem as so many comedies: it

tried to be funny instead of actually being funny. It started off well as we followed Audrey (Ashley Park), who was sent to China by her law firm to close a business deal. We also set up that she had been adopted in America by a white family and made friends with Lolo, played by Sherry Cola. Audrey is a successful lawyer who lives in Audrey’s guest house. Lolo, on the other hand, is a bit of an idiot. The characters in the movie were not original. We had a lead character who seemed to have it all together, but soon we realized that her life was anything but. Her best friend is a loser who doesn’t care about anything until you realize that they’re wearing a mask. A weird friend is someone who says weird things and is awkward, but who is also lovable and has great advice when needed. And lastly, a friend who appears to have everything under control, but then finds out that their life is nothing but As I watched the movie, I began to compare the characters with those in The Hangover and Bridesmaids.

I checked off the traits that each character displayed compared to those in those other, better R-rated comedies. The actors were excellent in their roles. The script was not strong enough to support all the gross-out gags that were thrown at the audience. This is where I think my biggest problem with this movie lies. In my Improv classes, I learned that when people can’t come up with a joke on stage, they resort to using the F-word and try to think of the silliest thing to get laughs. This movie was like an improv actor on stage with nothing to say. Joy Ride hits all the beats you would expect in its 95 minute runtime, with the last ten minutes being devoted to more emotional story beats which were foreshadowed by the film’s beginning. The screenplay seems to be a result of the writers (two of whom are from TV’s

Family Guy) just throwing out a bunch of over the top humor in the hopes that the sheer shock value would make people laugh while stringing together a story that we have seen done better in other movies. The screenplay is a mess. It seems that the writers (two from Family Guy ) just threw out a bunch over the top humor hoping that the sheer shock factor would make people laugh.

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch