This is a blisteringly funny movie for women about women. It was a pleasure to watch it with them.
Hollywood has attempted some bawdy girls’ comedy over the last year that disappointed, so why should you be remotely interested in Girls Trip? With the exception of the surprisingly funny Bad Moms (2016), movies like Snatched, Rough Night and Office Christmas Party have proven to be embarrassingly dull. Since these films involved contributions from the very funny Kate McKinnon and Amy Schumer, why take a chance on a film like Girls Trip that involved largely unknown actresses other than Queen Latifah?
Fortunately, Hollywood has finally discovered that films with an all African American cast frequently prove to be as funny as they are entertaining, and this film fits into that mold. It is endeasring, rauncy, wonderfully creative and wildly madcap at every turn. It will likely astonish you if you have a chance to see it.
The film centers on four old friends traveling to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. While they have professions and personal relationships that differ, they reunite on an airplane that leaves you laughing hysterically from that moment until the end of the film.
The friends are played by Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish, and these four women coalesce into a deviant quartet that has few boundaries. On top of that, it is important to point out all of the drinking, drugs and debauchery revolve around a plot that has unexpected dramatic significance. In that sense, it is similar to last year’s Almost Christmas.
More to the point, Miss Hall plays Ryan, a married woman who has an important meeting in New Orleans where her future as an author and TV personality hangs in the balance. She is set to promote a meaningful life based in part on her marriage to a philandering husband (played by Mike Coulter), and things quickly start to explode.
The surprising plot concerns other issues, but let me simply point out the incredible performance by Ms. Haddish, who plays Dina, one of the funniest women ever to appear on the big screen. Wildly inventive and profane beyond words, it soon becomes apparent that sex and drugs are her calling card. You’ve seen her previously in Keanu, the film starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and this is a comedienne riding a rocket ship to national recognition.
While I don’t dare give anything away in this film, let me just say that there is a moment where our girls are taking a short zip line trip across a crowded street in New Orleans. It is so funny that the theater audience was left in hysteria. Let me add that if you take such an adventure, make sure you hit the bathroom before running the risk of being stranded on the line over the street.
I’ll close with an observation that I have made in other films. As a Caucasian male, there are certain movies that simply have to be seen with an African American crowd. This is one of them. It’s not that it wouldn’t be funny if seen here in Fishers or Greenwood, but films like Girls Trip have added significance when you are surrounded by the reactions of African American women. I saw it at Glendale here in Indy for that reason, and it added to the incredible joy of seeing this preposterously entertaining film.