Is Joy Ride Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Ed Araquel/Lionsgate

Starring Ashley Park as Audrey, ‘Joy Ride’ is a hilarious and adventurous tale revolving around four unlikely friends on a trip of their life as they discover themselves. Audrey’s failed business trip to Asia makes her reach out to her childhood best friend, Lolo, and college friend/roommate, Kat. Lolo’s cousin Deadeye also joins the clique as the four embark on a journey across China to find Audrey’s biological mother. Their Asian adventure turns out to be more than just a quest to find Audrey’s birth mother as it becomes a journey of self-reflection, bonding, friendship, and belonging that helps them grow closer to themselves and know who they really are.

At the heart of this raunchy comedy movie, which Adele Lim directs, lies a multitude of complex personalities, genders, and sexualities of each character filled with real-life elements. Moreover, the seamless and seemingly authentic chemistry between the four friends portrays many friendships we see in real life. Thus, it is natural for you to pose the question — is ‘Joy Ride’ rooted in reality or not? Luckily, we have gathered all the information about the same, so why don’t we explore it together in detail?

Is Joy Ride a True Story?

No, ‘Joy Ride’ is not based on a true story. The raunchy yet thought-provoking tale of friendship and self-discovery can be credited to the combined efforts of Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao, and Adele Lim. The three writers made the most of their creative minds, excellent writing skills, and experience in the industry to come up with the intriguing and seemingly authentic tale of the comedy movie. The true-to-life nature of the characters is extracted from the writers’ real-life experiences and the situations they have encountered in their respective lives.

The same was highlighted by the writer and director Adele Lim in a July 2023 interview with Screenrant when she talked in detail about the inspiration for the movie. She stated, “This movie came about because Cherry and Teresa, my co-writers and producers on this movie, we’ve been friends for a long time. We would just hang out together and crack each other out with nasty dating stories or stories from our friends, our completely unhinged, ridiculous friends. And we thought, ‘We’re professional writers. We can put this movie together.'”

Lim expanded further on their idea behind coming up with the script they came up with. “We set out to make the kind of movie we wish we had growing up. So in terms of jumping from writer to director, I think what gave me the confidence to get into it was that I knew the story forwards and backward and that if I didn’t do it, somebody else might not tell it the way we wanted it to be told,” she said.

Talking about the characters, the filmmakers revealed that when she, Cherry, and Teresa were coming up with the characters and writing them, they wanted to ensure that each character was deeply rooted in reality and had a realistic arc. She explained, “…even though they might be in these heightened situations that they were all kind of inspired by real experiences and real people. All our actors just again had the genius comedic talent, plus that authenticity and heart. And mixing that all together, that’s what you ended up with on screen.”

In conclusion, it is evident that the themes of self-acceptance and friendships are at the heart of the narrative and drive the story forward. But despite including such realistic subjects and elements, not to mention the seemingly true-to-life characters and bonds between them, it would be safe to say that ‘Joy Ride’ is not rooted in reality and is a work of fiction.

Read More: Where Was Joy Ride Filmed?