Joy Ride. MA15+, 95 minutes. 4 stars It's going to be a challenge to keep this review within the realms of what is appropriate for a family newspaper/website, so be warned. The high-concept pitch for Joy Ride was probably something like "Crazy Rich Asian Bridesmaids". It was directed by one of the writers of Crazy Rich Asians but don't expect that film's rom-com elegance. Joy Ride's screenwriters worked on the animated sitcom Family Guy, two of the producers were This Is The End creators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and one of Bridesmaids' co-writers, Annie Mumalo, is in the cast, all of which gives you an idea of what to expect. It's not a film for delicate sensibilities. Audrey Sullivan (Ashley Park from Emily in Paris), the adopted Chinese daughter of a small-town white American couple, has grown up with her best friend Lolo Chen (Sherry Cola), whose parents are Asian-American. Being the only Asian girls in their class helped them bond. As often happens, however, things changed as they got older. In the present, the studious Audrey has become an ambitious lawyer while the less disciplined, wilder Lolo is trying to make it as an artist. Audrey is sent to China to close a big deal and Lolo - whose parents are Chinese-American and who, unlike Audrey, speaks some Mandarin - decides she'll tag along to help. Also in the mix are Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo's oddball K-pop obsessed cousin, and Audrey's college friend Kat (Stephanie Hsu), now a well-known actress engaged to her chaste co-star Clarence (Desmond Chiam). Although it wasn't the reason for the trip, Audrey is also compelled to go in search of her birth mother. Joy Ride is the directorial debut of Adele Lim, who also shares story credit with screenwriters Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao. The latter two worked on the TV show Family Guy and the influence of that show and of raunchy American comedy films is heavy. Drugs, sex, embarrassing revelations and gross-outs are among the treats in store. From the various ways the characters try to dispose of a stash of cocaine on a train to startling tattoos that go viral online, there's certainly a lot happening, and the actors make a good team. The film is frequently very funny, coming up with a constant stream of new situations and characters. There's impressive casting even in the small roles - familiar faces who pop up include Timothy Simons, Ronny Chieng and Daniel Dae Kim. Joy Ride's tonal shift towards the end when things get serious is not unexpected but, as so often, it's a bit jarring. As individual sections, the no-holds-barred comedy and the heartfelt, realistic sections are well handled, but the seams do show. Joy Ride pokes some fun at cliches and stereotypes about Asians and Asian-Americans and about political correctness and has some thoughtful points about identity and heritage and friendship, but they feel organic and not laboured. There was only one other person in the large Dendy cinema I saw this in (first morning session, first day) which was a pity - a comedy like this plays well with a responsive audience. One of the things I learned from Joy Ride: the name of a certain Paris landmark can also be used as a verb. Don't Google it at work.