Nutshell: Friendships can be a whole lotta things all at once. So’s Girl’s Trip; a hilarious, sweet, raunchy, gal-fest of friendship, and reconnecting after those solid bonds of college friendships come undone. Chick flick clichés abound, but the cast . Definitely not for the faint of pervy heart, but those who are down for some dirty will have a blast. Grab your gal pals, down a few drinks, and get to it. Grade: A-
“I think my liver is broken.”
Before: O.M.G. that trailer is crazy! I think I wanna see this. Wait. With Regina Hill, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and no-holds-barred standup comic Tiffany Haddish front-and-center? I definitely want to see this.
During: Man. I don’t think Regina Hill could look bad if her very life depended on it. She’s perfect as Ryan, the “you can have it all” lady of this quartet. And while I loved Pinkett Smith’s turn as a caller in Magic Mike XXL, she’s an absolute hoot as straight-laced helicopter parent Lisa. Queen Latifah totally rocks that polished super-successful blogger image as Sasha…and Tiffany Haddish – whom I’ve loved ever since I saw her on Chelsea Lately and Dirty Sexy Funny – is Dina, the unchecked ID of this joint, and she’s absolutely hilarious.
There isn’t a single misstep here. Oh sure, I’m seeing those usual chick flick clichés coming at me a mile away. Old feuds rekindled? Check. Hiding the crappy parts of your life from your buddies? Check. Coming together when things get too tough to handle? Check. But the leading ladies have such an amazing onscreen chemistry that it plays out as completely believable and wonderfully sweet. And hey, they’re clichés for a reason; who hasn’t gone through all that stuff, and more?
FULL FRONTAL MALE NUDITY Y’ALL! RED ALERT! And y’know what? Not a single, solitary female no-no part to be seen. Kinda digging the table-turning here. Plus? With these ladies chatting about all sorts of things, Girl’s Trip definitely passes the Bechdel test. Though there is lots of sex talk, from getting some to how to get some, to what to do when you’ve got some…and how to fix when someone else has gotten some of yours. But the focus is on these four, and their connection to each other.
And hello Kate Walsh! As Ryan’s agent Elizabeth, Walsh is a hoot as the white chick trying to be “Woke”, but ends up being a human embarrassment. Though her high point (literally and figuratively) is when she and the girls get a bit too much absinthe…and that’s all I’ll say about that.
After: Wait – WHAT? Malcom D. Lee directed this? The man who made Undercover Brother, not to mention one of my holiday-list movies, The Best Man Holiday? No wonder I like Girl’s Trip so much. And to be honest, with the raw, unfiltered look at women and friendship, I could have sworn this film was directed by a woman. Which, now that I think of it, is kinda sexist of me, right? Right.
I love the empowering message of friendship and bonds that can’t be broken. Lee does a great job balancing Hard R humor with lovely moments of genuine warmth. Letting his cast do their thing definitely helps; it’s obvious the ladies are having a good time. But better still, this is a film that focuses on African-American women at the ESSENCE Festival, but these ladies aren’t stereotypes or cookie-cutter. They’re the kind of characters I want to see more of, and that all of Hollywood should take a cue from. Likable women with issues and ideals that are universal in scope…that just so happen to be women of color. Let’s see more of these type of women (and men) in all fimls, mmm’kay?
Meanwhile, I need to see this again. With my Posse.