Review: Girls Trip

Girls Trip
7 10

PLOT: Four longtime friends who haven't seen each other in a while head to New Orleans to party at the Essence Festival. Predictably, things get sloppy in a hurry.

REVIEW: I laughed quite a bit during GIRLS TRIP, which might indeed be the funniest comedy of the year so far. It is ribald and inappropriate in the extreme, boasting at least one sequence that is indescribable because of how gross it is, but there's a very sweet center underneath. Earlier this summer, ROUGH NIGHT attempted to revel in the sights and sounds of grown women being crass enough to make any HANGOVER-type "boy's comedy" blush, but with decidedly mixed results. GIRLS TRIP is a marked improvement on that film: quite over-the-top and low-brow, but never off-putting and always likable.

In practice, GIRLS TRIP tells a pretty familiar story of a group of friends reuniting to celebrate an important date for one of them in a party-centric city (this time New Orleans), where things unravel quickly. The lady in question is Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), a massively successful author and self-help guru who has been dubbed "the next Oprah." Ryan's life is quietly falling apart behind the scenes thanks to her dog of a husband (Mike Colter), who reminds her how important it is to keep their brand looking shiny and problem-free. Poised to speak at the Essence Festival in Louisiana, Ryan takes the opportunity to invite her three best friends in the world who she doesn't get a chance to see very often: Sasha (Queen Latifah), a gossip columnist with whom Ryan has had a falling out; Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith), a cautious den mother-sort; and Dina (Tiffany Haddish), the brash, boisterous party animal of the group.

From there it's a typical series of set pieces that see the girls run afoul of all kinds of trouble, including a very unfortunate incident on a zip line and an overdose of absinthe at a party. Some sequences miss the mark, but overall the shenanigans of the "Flossy Posse" (such is their collective nickname) are highly amusing. And while there is a bevy of hard R-rated jokes around every corner, GIRLS TRIP manages to tell an effective story of female friendship and empowerment that absolutely resonates. What really comes across here is the affection the characters have for one another and how palpable the good times are. It's clear that extends to the actresses as well. The enjoyment in so many comedies feels forced, which negates any genuine fun on the audience's part, but here there is little doubt that all involved are having a blast.

The four leads are all very well cast, with Tiffany Haddish stealing the entire show as loose cannon Dina. Haddish's command of her character's profane dialogue is so perfect that it's not hard to think of her along the same lines as Eddie Murphy when he was just breaking into movies. Haddish goes all out so fearlessly that watching Dina almost becomes a tense experience; you're on edge waiting to see what she'll say and do next. She definitely leaves the biggest impression, although Pinkett Smith has a handful of very funny moments too, as her character's stuffy exterior is stripped away to reveal a rather animalistic nature.

GIRLS TRIP definitely proves to be a little overlong (just over two hours), and sometimes the melodramatic bits involving Ryan and her no-good husband fall flat, especially when these serious moments immediately follow something absurdly raunchy. It's tough balancing those two tones, and director Malcolm D. Lee doesn't always quite pull it off. That said, there's no question GIRLS TRIP will leave you and your friends saying, "Remember that scene?!" a whole lot as you leave the theater, so effectively entertaining it often is.

Source: JoBlo.com



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