No matter how hard the talented cast works, this supposed feel-good movie can’t escape its central plot hole.
Olivia Colman does her best in this movie, which is primarily silly, made up, and doesn’t make sense. It’s a road-trip heartwarmer, or maybe a heart microwaver. She plays Joy, a lawyer in a small, close-knit Irish town who just had a baby on her own and is having an emotional breakdown because of it. One morning, she is in the back of a cab with her new baby. She is about to give the baby to her best friend, who lives nearby, for official adoption. She will then drive to Kerry airport to fly to Lanzarote for a vacation. She is in denial about her feelings.
But then, a runaway teen named Mully (newcomer Charlie Reid) steals her taxi while she and her baby are in the back. He jumps in the driver’s seat and floors the gas; he has taken the charity money raised for the cancer hospice that cared for his late mother. He had taken this money from the real bad guy, his shady dad (Lochlann O’Mearáin), who had planned to use it to pay off his debts.
So, this odd couple takes a joyride across the country, fighting and then becoming close as mother and son. They learn life lessons traditionally, but the movie doesn’t explain how they never get caught. Ruth McCabe and Tommy Tiernan make excellent appearances, and there is an exciting flashback in which a terrible memory attacks Joy about her mother that she has been trying to forget for a long time. A big plot twist also makes the whole thing seem even more impossible. Every actor gives it their all, and it’s all in good fun, but it’s just too hard to believe.
The movie Joyride comes out in theatres on July 29.