The Hangover meets Bridget Jones in Malcolm D. Lee’s uproarious comedy that’ll no doubt leave you yearning for your next squad meet-up and a prosecco or two.
In the current era of Hollywood, now more than ever, we are slowly creeping towards a more equal representation of minority actors and actresses in cinema. ‘Why is this relevant to this review?’ you might be wondering? Well, the reason is simple: for the first time since I can remember, four strong black actresses have dominated the screen in leading roles as Regina Hall (Vacation), Jada Pinkett Smith (Madagascar; Bad Moms), Queen Latifah (Ice Age: Collision Course) and Tiffany Haddish (Keanu) come together in this box-office hit and 2017’s ultimate girl’s movie.
Girls Trip follows the tale of four life-long, and recently reunited, friends as they travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Music Festival: the ultra-successful yet troubled Ryan (Regina Hall); divorcee and mother-of-two Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith); gossip columnist Sasha (Queen Latifah); and Dina (Tiffany Haddish), the loud party girl. Despite crippling revelations and collectively juggling pressures in their personal and professional lives, the “Flossy Posse” are out to relive their younger years as Ryan aims to close a lucrative deal for her and her husband Stewart (Mike Colter, Luke Cage).
Despite each lead actress portraying a character that we’re used to seeing in this type of film, it is easy to sense the sublime and genuine chemistry that exists between Hall, Pinkett Smith, Latifah and Haddish. The storyline is easy to follow and is filled with laugh-out-loud (and sometimes jaw-dropping) moments that really enforce the 15 rating. Despite being filled with clever one-liners, a few fell on ignorant ears in the screening with some punchlines more tailored to the American audience; whilst at times Girls Trip felt strained to create something new, with some scenes feeling like a (poorer) remake of key scenes in both Bridesmaids and White Chicks. One major criticism, however, lies in the key note of the film: empowerment. Based around the Essence Music Festival, an annual music festival with the purpose of empowering women of colour and celebrating their long history of music and culture, Girls Trip fell short of fully empowering women by giving them cliché characters. Nevertheless, this doesn’t affect the overall enjoyable nature of the film.
In all, Girls Trip has everything that a girl’s night out does: alcohol, laughter, and maybe a few tears. Catch up with your “Flossy Posse” and head to the cinema and a night on the town – I’d steer clear of the absinthe though.
Rating – 80%
Director – Malcolm D. Lee
Cast – Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Mike Colter
Genre – Comedy
Running Time – 122 Minutes