It’s always a pleasure when a film portrays its female characters with a warmth and realism that makes you long to hang out with them if they existed in the real world, and “Girls Trip” is a genuine celebration of sisterhood and solidarity among women. It’s a chick flick in the greatest sense, a reminder that no matter how much life beats you down, your crew will always have your back. While the premise is almost exactly the same as the dreadful “Rough Night” and the concept is similar to the unfunny “Bad Moms,” this film does a complete 180 and gets all the things right that movies like that got wrong.
Yes, the film pushes its R-rated boundaries with a few gross-out gags and outrageous sexual humor, but it also is surprisingly touching. This would make a great night out at the movies for your group of girlfriends.
Women in particular will find plenty to relate to within this dynamic group of truly devoted pals, as each lady has her own quirk that they bring to the party. Regardless of how they sound on paper, the characters never come across as offensive or stereotypical. Ryan (Regina Hall) is a famous personality who claims to “have it all,” with her athlete husband (Mike Colter). Sasha (Queen Latifah) is a former journalist who now runs a TMZ style celebrity gossip site. Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) is recently divorced with two little ones at home, and Dina (Tiffany Haddish, who swiftly and gleefully steals every single scene) is the sexually liberated, foul mouthed, life of the party. These are ladies with varying degrees of success in their personal and professional lives, but they can always count on each other for honesty, advice, and support.
When the group heads down to New Orleans on a first class trip to the Essence Festival, it turns into a women behaving badly weekend filled with lots of dancing, booze, sex, and fighting. There are some really funny misadventures that occur (and anyone who has ever seen a movie like this can probably guess a few of them), but there are more than a handful that were quite original and had me laughing out loud. While some of the jokes rely on crass bathroom humor (an unfortunate incident involving a zip line combined with an urgent need to pee) and lewd sexual humor (you may never look at a grapefruit the same way ever again), the film never feels too raunchy or crude just for the sake of being raunchy or crude. That’s not to say that there is a ton of originality, but the film still manages to feel fresh and lively.
The story begins to drag about halfway through (the too-long run time clocks in at just over two hours) when the plot suddenly takes a more dramatic turn. You start out laughing along with a carefree attitude, but then marriages and friendships begin to fall apart and things get really serious really fast. The dramedy aspect is one thing I really liked about the movie, although the humor-to-drama ratio at times seems a bit unbalanced. One thing the screenwriters nail is that all of the spats ring true, the conflicts are authentic, and the dialogue between women who were friends in college and haven’t been together in years is spot on. The characters act and talk like real ride-or-die friends would in these situations, and nothing feels overly exaggerated.
Ladies, go see this movie. Better yet, go see this movie with a group of galpals. Not only will it make you laugh, but I guarantee it’ll make you want to hug your best friend (if she’s nearby) or call your best friend (if she lives far away).