by Monica Hayes
FINALLY, the breakout comedy of the summer has arrived! Malcolm D. Lee’s Girl’s Trip will have you in tears and needing a pair of Depends . . . literally.
When Ryan (Regina Hall), the accomplished author and self-help guru whose motto is “you too can have it all,” is invited to be the keynote speaker at the Essence Festival, she immediately calls up her girls to join her for the weekend. Joining her is Sasha (Queen Latifah) the journalist turned gossip blogger; Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith) the former party girl turned lack luster, homey stay at home mom; and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) the ride or die chick who calls a spade a spade and keeps it 100 24/7. There were three themes for the weekend: 1. to get Lisa laid, 2. to have some much-needed girl time full of fun and enjoy the Essence Festival, and 3. more importantly, bring back the “Flossy Posse.”
On their first day in New Orleans, the girls are getting pumped for their exciting weekend, dancing in the streets, drinking “hand grenades” and just having a good time. But, when Sasha gets a text of compromising photos of Ryan’s husband Stewart (Mike Colter) and his side piece Simone (Deborah Ayorinde) from paparazzi friends the air in the room gets really thick. Ryan assures her girls that she knew about the woman and that everything with her and Stewart is fine. Of course, the girls knew she was putting on a front, but went along with the program. That is until Dina spots Stewart at the hotel lobby and set it off. From this moment on, the movie takes a whole new life full of adventures, shenanigans, self-reflection, and rejuvenation.
Girl’s Trip is the more hilarious raunchier version of The Hangover or Bridesmaids combined. This all-star cast of ladies pulled off what the cast of Rough Night could not. Considering, the entire cast, with the exception of Haddish, has worked with one another at some point in their careers, the chemistry between them was effortless and natural. The supporting cast, Kate Walsh, Mike Epps and Lorenz Tate will have you in tears. Nothing about Girl’s Trip seemed forced.
All of the ladies did an amazing job. It was good to see Jada in a role that was so different than her other roles. In the past, she has always played the smart, strong, empowered, no nonsense woman like her character Rome in Magic Mike XXL. Here, she trades in her power suit and microphone for the “Puerto Rican grandmother making tamales” persona. She eventually rediscovers herself with the help of her girls and a young tender named Malik (Kofi Siriboe).
We all have that one friend you have to break down the rules and give instructions to before leaving for a night out. If you don’t know who that person is, chances are, YOU are that friend. This was Dina and Tiffany Haddish did an amazing job bringing her to the screen. We have seen her work in Keanu, but her performance in Girl’s Trip is outstanding. From her introduction in the opening sequences, the prayer, the zip line, the grapefruit demonstration – you have got to see this – shows just how far she will ride for her girls and was an absolute joy to watch.
If you thought The Hangover was crazy then you are in for an exciting and entertaining time with Girl’s Trip. From using hand sanitizer as a breath freshener, tsunamis, a dance off, full male nudity, the “proper” way to use a grapefruit (complete with demonstrations) and zip lines, the laughs are plenty. You may not want to be drinking anything while watching as you may spray your neighbor sitting in front of you. If you are a prude, easily offended by strong language and full male nudity (about time!) then this is not the movie for you. Trust, it will be your loss.