By Oyebola Ande
July 22, 2017
Move over Hangover, the ladies are getting “turnt.” Cyndi Lauper’s ‘80s hit song said it best: “Girls just wanna have fun.” And, in Girls Trip, they sure have their fair share and then some.
Girls Trip is a story about four black women and the ties that bind them together. Ryan, Sasha, Dina and Lisa have been friends since college. So tight is the bond between them the girls even call themselves the “flosse posse.” Nevertheless, in the five years before the beginning of the film, the realities of adult life have prevented them from getting together.
As an opportunity for them to reconnect, Ryan invites the girls for a trip to New Orleans during Essence Fest. What transpires during the weekend could go down as one of the most memorable moments for women in film. The ladies get into so much ignorant, immature and debauched antics, there has to be a sequel. But, in the midst of all the fun and naughtiness, the women are forced to deal with serious issues that threaten to split them apart such as their careers, marriages, friendships and loyalty. This gives the movie its true essence and makes Girls Trip one hell of a ride.
Producer Will Packer, (Think Like a Man, Ride Along, and About Last Night) has assembled a great cast. Malcolm D. Lee, the cousin of Spike Lee and director of films like The Best Man and The Best Man Holidays, lends his talent and directorial eye in bringing Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver’s screenplay to life. Lee does a wonderful job making the city of New Orleans and most especially, Essence Fest, as much a part of the plot as possible. The way he uses the Crescent City and the festival serves like a tour guide for those who have never been. The camera shots and movements he uses highlight the beauty and ambiance of the city, which gives the movie more insight, color, character and life. The audience gets to sit back, relax and enjoy.
After a long hiatus from acting, Queen Latifah returns to the big screen. Latifah plays Sasha, the most laid-back member of the group, whose character serves little to no purpose in the unraveling of the plot and thus could’ve been left out. Regina Hall plays the role of Ryan. Her graceful and innocent portrayal of the friend who seems to have it all serves as the soul and conscience of the movie. It’s hard not to root for her. Jada Pinkett Smith’s impressive performance as the shy/serious Lisa is the kind of comedic stretch we haven’t seen from her in a long time. But the star of the movie is Tiffany Haddish in the role of Dina, the group’s ratchet and inappropriate loud-mouth but, surprisingly, the most honest. Though still unknown, Haddish has appearances on television shows like The Carmichael Show and The Real Husbands of Hollywood. Girls Trip is Haddish’s coming-out party as a comedic actor. Don’t be surprised if this launches her as the female Kevin Hart, especially considering they both started as stand up comedians.
Kofi Siriboe, a regular on Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar and still relatively a new actor, is quickly becoming the new black sex symbol. I have a feeling his scenes are going to have females gasping for more. The star of Netflix original series Luke Cage, Mike Colter, comes off the screen as poised and confident (a good recipe for leading man roles in Hollywood). We can’t forget Larenz Tate who, despite being a veteran, still reminds us he still has the chops to show his vulnerable side while holding his own onscreen. Other notable stars such as Common, P Diddy, Ne-yo, and Morris Chestnut make guest appearances as themselves.
Girls Trip is hilarious and, no matter what else is playing in the theaters, seeing this film will be money well spent. It will have you laughing so hard, you might need a doctor’s appointment after.
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars