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'Joy Ride' trailer promises misadventure, scandal and 'The Hangover' for Asians

The film stars Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu alongside Ashley Park, Sherry Cola and Sabrina Wu as they travel across China.
Stephanie Hsu as Kat, Sabrina Wu as Deadeye, Ashley Park as Audrey, and Sherry Cola as Lolo in "Joy Ride."
Stephanie Hsu as Kat, Sabrina Wu as Deadeye, Ashley Park as Audrey and Sherry Cola as Lolo in "Joy Ride."Ed Araquel / Lionsgate

Featuring a powerhouse cast of Asian actors, the trailer for the raunchy comedy “Joy Ride” dropped over the weekend, and fans are already buzzing with excitement ahead of its release this summer. 

Starting off with a bang (a 5-year-old Asian girl cursing out and punching a white classmate who calls her a racial slur), the film’s trailer centers on the friendship between characters Audrey (Ashley Park) and Lolo (Sherry Cola).

Reminiscent of an Asian version of “The Hangover,” the story follows the two women as they journey to China in search of adoptee Audrey’s birth mother. While there, the two meet up with Audrey’s college roommate Kat (Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu) and Lolo’s cousin Deadeye (Sabrina Wu). 

Traversing China together, the four find themselves meeting hot guys, having their passports stolen, masquerading as K-pop stars, and inadvertently getting caught up in drug smuggling. 

“For us to get to do this raunchy, balls to the wall, rated R, wild, unhinged movie, I feel like we have permission to do this and to make a mess and to not be precious with our identity,” Hsu said in a cast interview at the film’s South by Southwest premiere. “Our movie is not about so much more. It’s just a fun time.” 

Set to release on July 7, the film is helmed by “Crazy Rich Asians” writer Adele Lim in her directorial debut. It’s produced by Seth Rogen, and features cameos by Ronny Chieng, Desmond Chiam and Chris Pang. 

It’s unabashedly sexual, which Cola believes is one of its most important aspects. Given Asian womens’ historical exoticization and fetishization in Western media, “Joy Ride” is a chance to rewrite the narrative. 

“Historically, it’s always been so extreme,” Cola said during the interview. “This film is about reclaiming our sexuality and telling that story through our own lens, through our own mouths and through our own bodies. I think that’s the number one goal here, to kind of redefine the box we’ve been put in.”

In a media landscape that’s so often served audiences Asians as stereotypes or side roles, a carefree movie with Asian main characters is monumental, cast members said. 

“We’re all very used to being supporting characters,” Park said. “We were like, ‘Oh my gosh, it feels like we’ve been filming a different movie every day, like a different genre.’ And we were like, ‘I guess that’s what being the protagonist in your own story feels like.’”