I've kind of gotten used to people misusing the word joy. Take for example, Joy Reid and Joy Behar. I've never seen either of them two ladies exhibit much in the way of ecstatic or exultant happiness; quite the opposite in fact. So, I shouldn't have been too surprised when I went to watch a movie mistitled as Joy Ride only to discover that there was nothing overtly joyful about it. In honesty, I only saw the first half of the movie because after reaching a little past the midway point, I couldn't think of a solitary reason why I should stick around to see the end. The strangest thing about this movie was that all the critics not only loved the movie, they spoke of it with abject wonder and pretended that it was some kind of historically significant, once in a life time cinematic achievement. Truth is, it was a hot mess.
People hate to be wrong, but they are so far off base on this, there is no way they can avoid this determination. The real critics, the ticket buying public, have spoken. After a disappointing opening week-end, the audience has shrunken faster than a dollar store shirt after a hot rinse. That's called word of mouth, and I guarantee they not were repeating the same catch phrases that the professional critics were using, you know things like "raunchy but heartfelt', "filthy but silly fun", "raunchy but compelling", "hilarious and heart-warming", "a proudly dirty breath of fresh air", and "more heartfelt and human than you would expect from something so crass". No, the people who were lured into the theater by all the positive reviews were telling their neighbors to not waste their money, just go home, crack a beer and watch South Park or rent any of the Hangover movies and pretend the jokes were written by and for women but involved five times more references to anal sex, blow jobs, and condoms full of cocaine.
Those critics are going to retaliate by calling those who exposed their idiocy racist and make the claim the public hates the very idea of four Asian women being crass and having fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is nothing wrong with the professed premise of the movie: a highly successful adopted Chinese lady is trying to come to terms with her identity by seeking out her birthmother in China while experiencing a road trip with her best friends. It is not only an intriguing concept, it could have actually been made into the aforementioned culturally significant, heartwarming journey of self discovery. Except it wasn't about that at all. Read the reviews yourself and count how many times they all mention and then brush off the word raunchy because that is truly what this movie is about. It's like twelve-year-old Seth MacFarlane and Seth Rogan were given a basic premise and then challenged to out gross each other. There was one drop of heart warming self-discovery for every gallon of sex engendered body fluids; the math just don't add up.
A few days ago, I went and watched the Fortieth Anniversary Edition of the first Vacation movie with Chevy Chase. That movie, by comparison, was hilarious. There was more humor in the scene where Chevy Chase pulls out a gun and there was the price tag hanging from the barrel than there was in the entire Joy Ride movie. I thought about how ironic it was that both movies were considered as being somewhat subversive for their time. Vacation was inspired by a short story in National Lampoon which was, at the time, the very bastion of East-coast elitist, college Frat boy humor. You couldn't make that movie nowadays, that is, of course, unless, you bleached all of the humor out of it, and replaced it with a script inspired by Good Kids, and instead of a family substituted a group of characters all drawn from different marginalized community. Pity
At least, change the title.