With No Hard Feelings just scoring a successful $15.1 million opening at the domestic box office, it’s safe to say that the future of theatrical R-rated comedies is looking bright after years of mid-budget slapsticks being moved over to streaming after financial disappointment due to COVID-19. Streaming has dominated the adult-oriented or raunchy comedy landscape for quite some years now, with streamers making audiences dependent on them as the go-to for laughs and the cinema experience being left only to blockbusters. The tide has begun to change and recede to normality with the success of No Hard Feelings as well as many other theatrical R-rated comedies on the horizon, including Joy Ride from Lionsgate.
Premiering out of the SXSW Film & TV Festival back in March, Joy Ride has received major critical acclaim from critics and audiences alike, currently standing at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from 20 reviews. The film marks the first major theatrical appearance from Stephanie Hsu, one of the breakout stars from last year’s Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All at Once, where she was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Ashley Park, the Grammy and Tony-nominated actress who recently had a scene-stealing role in Netflix’s Beef alongside Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, co-leads Joy Ride and is also expected to star in another comedic role for Only Murders in the Building Season 3 and will appear in Mean Girls: The Musical, a film that will likely be a major breakout in 2023. Rounding out the main 4 of the Joy Ride cast ensemble is Sherry Cola, popular for her roles in Turning Red and We Need to Talk About America, as well as writer and comedian Sabrina Wu, with this project being their first major appearance in a feature film.
Joy Ride is brought together by director Adele Lim, who is making her feature directorial debut here. This is following her iconic screenwriting work for Crazy Rich Asians, one of the biggest rom-coms of the past decade, as well as Raya and the Last Dragon, one of Disney’s most recent animated features which also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Joy
Written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao, Joy Ride is an R-rated raunchy comedy that follows four Asian-American friends as they bond and discover the truth of what it means to know and love who you are, while they travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers. At DiscussingFilm, we have the privilege to debut an exclusive first-look clip from the film that showcases some of the hilarious one-liners that will soon become well-known by many audiences. The clip follows Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, and Sabrina Wu’s characters as they banter through an airport terminal on their first visit to China, all providing hilarious wit that will leave you wanting more.
Joy Ride finally arrives in theaters nationwide from July 7 with special sneak previews happening in various locations from Saturday, July 1. The film looks to make a splash at the beginning of what will be a major month for theatrical films. Joy Ride will kick off the month of July alongside Sony’s horror movie sequel Insidious The Red Door. From then, it is blockbuster galore from Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One to the long-awaited Barbie and Oppenheimer war that will officially begin on July 21, that is of course if you are not one of the lucky few seeing Barbie in one of the film’s Blowout Party early preview screenings earlier that week.
And once the dust settles on that battle, Disney will look to place their flag in the month with their spooky family comedy Haunted Mansion, featuring an all-star cast including Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Lakeith Stanfield, Danny DeVito, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder and many more. Joy Ride and Haunted Mansion together show that this Summer is made for breakout comedies, both the family-friendly and raunchy R-rated ones that we have been dying to see in crowded theatres for years.