Girls Trip

Review by Charles Bramesco

Directed by

Malcolm D Lee

Starring

Jada Pinkett Smith Queen Latifah Regina Hall

Anticipation.

The trailer promised a fun ’n’ flirty romp through the Big Easy.

Enjoyment.

Paired with a few good friends and a strong beverage or two, it’s an absolute scream.

In Retrospect.

Hangover or no, the memories of this lost weekend fade fast.

There’s plenty to like about this fun and frisky comedy, not least the brilliant female cast.

A familiarity with the viral video ‘Angel Teaching Her Grapefruit Technique’ will enhance your appreciation of Malcolm D Lee’s latest comedy, Girls Trip. In it, Tiffany Haddish’s character helpfully explains the method through which a woman may simulate the sensations of oral sex on her man using a warmed grapefruit. Although recognising this niche reference brings its own sort of delight, the film gladly invites everyone to join in on the fun.

Weirdly enough, that blowjob bit is pretty much Girls Trip in miniature: specificity made universal through the generosity of comedy. Lee proudly celebrates black women along with the bonds between them, and while he makes zero effort to pander or otherwise nod to viewers not meeting those two specifications, everyone can bask in the glow of this film’s radiant positivity.

The film rests on the quartet of besties who make up the core cast: there’s Regina Hall’s fun-loving Ryan, who has the dream husband (Mike Colter) to complete her perfect life; Queen Latifah’s journalist turned celebrity gossipmonger Sasha; Jada Pinkett Smith’s buttoned-up Lisa, who hasn’t gotten any D since her divorce two years earlier; and Haddish’s Dina, a whirling hurricane of good times.

Their pilgrimage down to New Orleans for Essence Fest has the same stakes as Magic Mike XXL’s grand migration to Myrtle Beach – will our heroes have fun?! – and likewise orients itself around the spectacle of pleasure. There’s a bit of business about an Instagram “thot” moving in on Ryan’s man and some long-simmering tensions hit a boil near the end of the second act, as they must, but the focus remains firmly fixed on the universal joys of drinks, dudes, and dancing.

Even the weaker comic set-pieces, such as one unfortunate incident of public urination while suspended from a Bourbon Street zip-line, come from a good-natured place. Most of the humour plays, and there’s no overstating just how good Haddish is, but chief among this film’s virtues is its eagerness to please. You want to love it as much as it loves you.

Published 26 Jul 2017

Tags: Jada Pinkett Smith Malcolm D Lee Queen Latifah Regina Hall Tiffany Haddish

Anticipation.

The trailer promised a fun ’n’ flirty romp through the Big Easy.

Enjoyment.

Paired with a few good friends and a strong beverage or two, it’s an absolute scream.

In Retrospect.

Hangover or no, the memories of this lost weekend fade fast.

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