McCoy on Movies: Girls Trip

McCoy on Movies: Girls Trip

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Tiffany Haddish steals the show in raucous, raunchy female-centric comedy. See why our movie critic says its one to grab your gal pals and go see.

 

“Girl … Where’s the other girl in this scene?!” L tor R: Sasha (Queen Latifah), Dian (Tiffany Haddish) and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) enjoy some drinks on the streets of New Orleans in a scene from GIRLS TRIP. Credit: Michele K. Short © 2017 Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.


WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall, Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, Kofi Siriboe and Mike Colter

WRITER(S): Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver

DIRECTOR(S): Malcolm D. Lee

WEB SITE: http://www.girlstripmovie.com/HERE’S THE STORY: Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) has it all – a great career and a celebrity husband in former NFL star Stewart (Mike Colter, Netflix’s Luke Cage). And now that’s she been invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual Essence festival in New Orleans, the time seems perfect to reunite with her old friends, “the Flossy Posse.” There’s Dina (Tiffany Haddish), the outspoken, oversexed and outrageous member of the group; there’s Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), the divorcée of the group is all about her kids all the time and Sasha (Queen Latifah), a journalist like Ryan who has traded true journalism for a celebrity gossip blog called “Sasha’s Secrets.”

But as the friends – who haven’t seen each other in 10 years – start to hang out, so do their own individual secrets … And as George Orwell once wrote, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” 

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? People who enjoy hardcore comedies; Tiffany Haddish fans; fans of 90s R&B music; people who like the movie Bridesmaids (yes, this blog uses it a lot, but it’s really that good of a female-centric comedy); anyone thinking of going on vacation in New Orleans

WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Any woman seeing this with her mother or mother-in-law that is NOT ready to have a conversation about anything sexual afterwards; cheating dudes; people who do not like raunchy, profane comedies (trust me – this AIN’T the movie for you!)

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? If you were going to be flippant, it would be easy to look at the trailer for Girls Night (which is grammatically incorrect since there should be a “‘” after the word “girls;” has all good grammar gone the way of the dodo?!) and dismiss it is any of the following: “A black attempt at a Bridesmaids-style comedy,” “African-Americans only,” or, at it the very worst, a “Tyler Perry-styled production.” 

Fortunately, none of those descriptions fit because aside from the poor grammar of the title, Girls Trip is funny enough with enough strong performances to stand on its own merit – and oh what an entertaining merit it is. But that’s not what type of film this is; instead, what you get a story about four friends – who actually feel like lifelong friends – who have each other’s back and work their way through a zany yet believable weekend and have a lot of fun doing it. 

To be honest, there is nothing story-wise that is revolutionary (or even that innovative) to be found in Girls Trip. Larenz Tate’s character is such a nice guy that it almost borders on unbelievable; Walsh’s character too often is stuck with “let’s make the white character use slang around the black characters to remind the audience she’s white” thing (it hasn’t been new since Sanford & Son was first on the air) and the film’s ending is both very easy to see coming and a convenient means to reach its uplifting conclusion. 

That being said, Girls Trip is an enjoyable romp of raunch thanks to its four female leads who all add their own unique flavor to the film. While Hall provides the main emotional support with Latifah playing the most down-to-earth friend and Pinkett-Smith in tow playing the divorcée in need of some action quite well, Haddish steals the show from start to finish. It’s hard to think of another film where female African-American characters have ever been allowed to act in such an outrageous fashion without being a stereotype or caricature found with all films where “black female” might as well read as “sassy loudmouth” or “not well educated woman but one that has plenty of street smarts/a heart of gold.” 

Haddish’s character breaks that played out mantra by, while being outrageous and a bit, well, ‘hood, doing it all with a genuine sense of fun/genuine nature to her that is usually missing from such characters. Haddish, for lack of a better phrase, “goes all out” for it in EVERY scene, NO MATTER WHAT she is asked to do (and trust me, she is asked to do some things on film you usually only see on the Internet when you think no one else is home … if you’re into that sort of thing). But each actress plays her part well, creating a movie that is expresses it’s ultimate goal about the importance of friendship that is easy to digest thanks to all the insane fun its characters produce. If nothing else, you’ll never look at a certain fruit the same way ever again … 

But if you’re looking for a film that doesn’t preach its women empowerment message, that’s as vulgar as it is hilarious at times and well done enough to appeal to men and women of all races, Girls Trip is one you might want to make a trip to the theater to see.

 
OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 
Tabari McCoy
Columnist - Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. An award-winning stand-up comedian who also works as the public relations director at Cincinnati Museum Center, Tabari McCoy is the creator of McCoy on Movies, a blog about movies for film fans. The blog is written by someone who also likes movies that is smart enough to know his opinion isn't always the right one but is willing to express that opinion in public. McCoy also used to review movies for his college paper and a major metropolitan publication, so that helps add to his "street cred." Contact him at tmccoy@cincychic.com. You can also check out more of his work on his blog at McCoyonMovies.BlogSpot.com and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy.

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