Girls Trip’s fast paced comedic narrative, hilarious performances, and timely message make this a better movie than The Hangover.
A group of college girlfriends nicknamed the “Flossy Posse” meet-up in New Orleans for a girls weekend that turns into nonstop debauchery fest. Ryan (Regina Hall) is scheduled to be the keynote figure at Essence Fest in New Orleans due to her work as a self-help guru (think Oprah). Her friends agree to come along and watch her in action. Sasha (Queen Latifah) is a struggling gossip blogger who secretly has ill feelings towards Ryan. Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) plays your typical single girl with a less than typical sex-life. Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is the life of the party who curses up a storm but is loyal to a fault.
One way in which this film separates itself from The Hangover is how much this cast sells out comedically. In The Hangover, the narrative flows comedically through one character while the rest of them are spending most of their time reacting to what just happened. Girls Trip is an example of how wonderful a narrative can turn out when the whole cast buys into it. Whether it was Ryan (Hall) getting awfully creative with a meat cleaver, Sasha (Latifah) dry humping a lamp, Lisa (Smith) awkwardness with grapefruits, Dina (Haddish) threatening to kill a bitch, the story is relentless and hysterical.
Haddish brought tremendous energy to the film. She brought out a level of comedy in Smith that I’ve never seen her pull off. It certainly was an unexpected surprise.
The most important role in the film certainly falls on Hall’s shoulders. Her character is going through some marriage issues and due to how big her career has become, she excuses the fact her husband can’t stay faithful. Why should she let people know that her life isn’t perfect? It’s the journey that Ryan goes through during the film that makes the message of the film quite poignant. What’s the message of The Hangover? Don’t hang out with guys who roofie you?
It’s refreshing to witness very “blue” comedic moments being pulled off and still having those important themes of sisterhood, unity, and self-worth not get lost in the story. Yes, it’s hilarious to watch Dina explain how to use those grapefruits in a provocative manner but if we don’t see Ryan’s girls be there for one another than this movie isn’t anything other than a rehashed version of Bad Moms.
Director Malcolm D. Lee strikes a balance between keeping the film funny and delving into serious topics.
To say that I’m surprised by Girls Trip would be an understatement. On the surface, the movie just appears to be another bunch of tired tropes about good girls going wild. The film asks the question of what gives women self-worth. Is it a man? Is it a career? Is it both? Yes, we travel on this journey while witnessing the Flossy Posse on hallucinogens but that’s not what’s important. We need to remember to not judge movies before they are actually seen. Girls Trip is a heartfelt journey about a woman’s worth and the power of friendship that’s a movie worth seeing.