ABOVE PHOTO: Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall, and Queen Latifah in “Girls Trip.”
By Kendall Alexander
When it comes to good times, it’s impossible to list destinations without putting New Orleans somewhere on the list. Where else can you drink openly from sunrise to sunset, flash folks for Mardi Gras beads, and party till you drop? Experiences like this are meant to be enjoyed with your crew, and director Malcolm Lee understood that well when filming the awesome quartet of sophisticated ladies for this summer’s biggest comedy, “Girls Trip.”
The celebrated self-proclaimed ‘Flossy Posse,’ composed of FAMU graduates and best friends journalist Sasha (Queen Latifah), nurse and proud mama Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith), the one friend that’s still figuring it out and getting in trouble along the way Dina (Tiffany Haddish), and renowned author Ryan (Regina Hall) all lead such busy lives, it’s hard to get together and enjoy each other like they used to. But that changes when Ryan is asked to serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s Essence Fest–the biggest summer celebration of Blackness — and won’t go without her crew representing.
While they come together for this weekend to reminisce about old times and create new ones, they discover where life has actually led each of them — crying, clowning, turning up, praying, and brawling the entire time. One mess after another brings them together and threatens to tear them apart, and they must navigate their discoveries carefully as reputations are on the line.
This movie brings women and their best friends together to enjoy real-life depictions of themselves on screen. From telling sex tales to beating women down in the club together (with a perfect homage paid to Jada and Queen’s roles in the infamous “Set It Off”), “Girls Trip” had women in the theaters expressing sheer joy and happiness throughout. This is a mandatory movie to go see with best friends, bonus points if they’re college homies. No one understands you quite like your crew, and this film goes above and beyond to prove that.
If that’s not enough, wait till you see what kind of eye candy is in this flick! From Ryan’s husband Stewart (Mike Colter, “Luke Cage”), to loverboy musician Julian (the ageless Larenz Tate), and the downright drop dead sexy young man of the hour Malik (Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar”) a personal praise dance is in order for casting directors Mary Vernieu and Michelle Wade Byrd.
Without giving too much away, no one leaves the theater disappointed. The antics and comedy was funny without overdoing it, and the actresses all had a chemistry that was believable. They held each other up, cheered each other on, challenged each other to step out of their comfort zones, and all rediscovered their friendship and each other in the process. The themes of support, self renewal and friendship and overarching and powerful. Writers Kenya Barris (“black-ish”) and Tracy Oliver (“Barbershop: Next Cut”) hit the nail on the had with this one! Here’s hoping the rest of this year’s Black films are just as stellar and raise the bar past what Hollywood use to claim as our stories.