The criticism around “Joy Ride” took an unexpected direction.
The AAPI-directed R-rated comedy, which stars Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu and Sabrina Wu as pals who embark on a wild and raucous journey through China, is executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg . “Joy Ride” debuted at SXSW earlier this year, but first director Adele Lim only now has to respond to the film’s racist criticism as it hits wide release this week.
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Wednesday, Lim retweeted a tweet from film critic Jackson Murphy (aka Lights Camera Jackson) in which Murphy wrote that the film is “embarrassing and incredibly obnoxious” while alleging that the comedy “objectives men, targets white people”.
In his retweet response, Lim wrote, “I need to ‘Objectify Men, Target White People’ on a t-shirt,” followed by a series of praying hands and crying face emojis and who laughs.
According to the film’s official synopsis, it “follows Audrey (Park) after her business trip to Asia comes to a halt. She enlists the help of Lolo (Cola), her irreverent childhood best friend who also happens to be a hot mess; Kat (Hsu), her college friend turned Chinese soap opera star; and Deadeye (Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin. Lim, screenwriter of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Raya and the Last Dragon,” developed the story with writers Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao.
“Any underrepresented group, there are certain ways of being represented. It wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do early in my career, but as an Asian woman in this space, I was very aware the way I was perceived. Asian women on screen, they look at you as something exotic,” Lim recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “We were like the first sub on Pornhub. is a whole gross thing. But the reaction from the community was, ‘OK, let’s completely disavow our sexuality’ – which sucks, because it’s part of us. You’re giving in to the terrorists by doing this.
Lim joked at the SXSW 2023 premiere that “Joy Ride” needed a “rich white” ally to produce, as a way to both thank and introduce Rogen.
The IndieWire reviewer applauded the writers’ ability to “establish the comedic tone of racial commentary that is present throughout the film and show no mercy in the way these characters deal with daily judgment and labeling. , even if others don’t mean to be intentionally hurtful. … The script overflows with comedy and social commentary almost wrongly because there’s so much these talented women want and deserve to say. There are no films like this readily available, the attempt to pass points sometimes becomes urgent, and there are few times when audiences can fully marinate with the impact.
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