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Review: Girls Trip

Girls TripPosted by Wilson Morales

If there’s a film this summer that will have you laughing out loud from beginning to end, it’s Malcolm D. Lee’s latest dramedy, Girls Trip. Featuring a bevy of talent from TV and film (Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, Mike Colter, and Kofi Siriboe), this not-so-original but well executed and hilarious comedy is sparked by breakout actress Tiffany Haddish. This is the funniest and raunchiest film featuring a group of actors to come out since Bridesmaids!

Instead of having a wedding to get old friends together like The Hangover or Bridesmaids, Girls Trip offers a trip to the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) is a successful bestselling author ready to promote her latest book “You Can Have It All.” Through her agent Elizabeth, played by Kate Walsh, she’s been invited to be a keynote speaker at the festival and uses the opportunity to bring her oldest friends, aka Flossy Posse, with her. There’s Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), a divorced single mom who hasn’t dated in a long time and is the reserved and only parent in the group. Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is the Samantha Jones (from Sex and the City) version, that ride or die chick who’s has your back no matter what but also ready to party hard and fast. Finally, there’s Sasha Franklin, played by Queen Latifah. Sasha is a gossip columnist who hasn’t had best of relationships with Ryan in some time, but is willing to come along while looking for a juicy story that will help her pay some massive bills.

Life is going great for Ryan. A successful book to go along with a happy marriage to football star Stewart (Mike Colter) is what everyone wants to have; but something is amiss and the girls are starting to notice. Seems like Stewart may be stepping out on their girl and Dina ain’t trying to have it, especially when he shows up to the Big Easy with his mistress in tow (Deborah Ayorinde). Why isn’t Ryan ready to pounce on this chick or better yet, why is letting Stewart sweet-talk his way out of that jam and back in her good graces? There’s more than she’s letting on, but she want the girls to have a good time at the festival while they are catching up.

From seeing Diddy, Mariah Carey, New Edition and more celebrities to getting drunk and having a grand ole time at a zip line, the four ladies are making the most of their sisterhood reunion while masking the problems each are facing in their personal lives.

With a script written by Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver, who also co-wrote  “Barbershop: The Next Cut” together, “Girls Trip” works because of the right chemistry, direction, and execution of jokes. A few weeks ago, another film featuring a quarter of women (Rough Night) had been released and it failed because the script didn’t do any of those actresses justice. With Girls Trip, it’s the opposite. Not only does the audience get into these characters but the situations that they get into are SO funny, one really needs tissues to stop the tears of laughter.

Right from the start Tiffany Haddish wants to make sure you know her name by the time you leave the theater. Although she was on the now-cancelled “The Carmichael Show” and appeared in Keanu with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, this is her shining moment. To say that she’s a barrel of laughs is an understatement. Her scenes alone may be a degree of discomfort for some but she makes crude funny. She’s ready to compete with Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer for prime time gigs.

To watch Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah on screen for the first time since 1996’s Set It Off is one of the best reasons to see the film. Both are still going strong and each has their moment to spark a chuckle, especially when Jada is on the zip line. As for eye candy, Malcolm Lee knew what he was aiming for when he cast Mike Colter (of TV’s Luke Cage), Larenz Tate and Kofi Siriboe (of TV’s Queen Sugar) in key roles as well as cameos by William Levy, Maxwell and a few other surprises. Credit also goes to the Essence Festival and the city of New Orleans for allowing the filmmakers to capture some amazing locations and concert footage of Diddy, Mariah Carey and others.

From The Best Man to Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins to this film, whether it’s comedy or drama, Lee delivers just what that audience wants and expects – a very funny, outrageous entertaining film.

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