Featured photo: Stephanie Hsu as Kat, Sabrina Wu as Deadeye, Ashley Park as Audrey, and Sherry Cola as Lolo in Joy Ride. (photo by Ed Araquel)

When I first saw the trailer for Joy Ride a few months ago, I was so excited.

A raunchy comedy with an all-female, Asian-American cast? Hell yeah. It’s what I have been waiting for.

Part Bridesmaids meets The Hangover with a unique adoptee backstory, the film promised to be the kind of hilarious summer movie experience not unlike the Apatow-laden funnies that made up the mid-to-late 2000s, but with faces that I could relate to.

But when I came out of the theater an hour and a half later, I was wrought with disappointment.

The acting was fine; the jokes felt forced. And the story… well, it was all over the place. Threads were started and left limply hanging or forcibly tied into neatish knots. As a whole, the film felt unfinished. I felt let down. The movie was, in its full definition, mid.

But then, turning to Sam to analyze the movie on the way home, we came to the same conclusion.

It’s okay!

Why can’t we (the collective, nonwhite we) have things that are mid? Mediocre? Kind of a waste of time?

Not all of the art that we put out has to be an Everything Everywhere All At Once or Parasite or Beef-level work. In fact, only striving to create accolade-worthy art kind of feeds into the model minority myth, doesn’t it?

We are allowed to exist and create things that aren’t that good. I mean, white people have been doing it since the dawn of time.

Did you know that they’re making another Expendables movie?

So yeah, Joy Ride isn’t perfect. But that’s perfectly okay, because neither are we.

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