Star Rating:

Girls Trip

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Actors: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah

Release Date: Wednesday 26th July 2017

Genre(s): Factual

Running time: 122 minutes

Ryan (Hall), Sasha (Latifah), Lisa (Smith) and Dina (Haddish) have been best friends since college. Self-named the ‘Flossy Posse’, the four companions adore one another and have seen each other through thick and thin, but as they grow older, they start to drift apart. Ryan gets a chance to reunite them on a VIP weekend trip to New Orleans for the annual Essence Music Festival. While struggling to keep their personal problems at bay, the four women have the time of their lives.

Director Malcolm D. Lee has talked extensively about how his latest film Girls Trip epitomises ‘black girl magic’, casting black women as the leads telling their story their way. Girls Trip, first and foremost, accomplishes just that, and much of it is owing to the charisma and chemistry of the four lead actresses.

All present distinct personalities which are fiercely modern, relatable and credible. Hall plays a successful author and TV personality being hailed as ‘a second Oprah’. She shares a few tense moments with Latifah’s Sasha, who runs a gossip website. While the two seem to be on opposing sides of the celebrity world, anyone on the outside can clearly see they’re not dissimilar. There’s also the lovely Jada Pinkett Smith as introvert divorcee and mother of two Lisa, who Dina (Haddish) is determined to have come out of her shell. Tiffany Haddish’s Dina is unapologetically raunchy, opportunistic (namely trouble making), and explosive with personality.

Much of the comedy derives from the latter character, who plays a similar type of role to that of Melissa McCarthy in Bridemaids or Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover, namely saying and doing the most outrageous ans sexually explicit things. It can feel a little forced at times but some surprising funny moments come from the other trio as well, especially when Lisa starts to come out of her shell.

While the first half of the film is dominated by comedy, the second half takes a more serious turn and a genuine, sensitive approach to representing the emotionally complicated challenges these women are going through. Though a comedy, the film considers thought-provoking ideas about success, money, fame and image. Whatever you say about the funniness of the film, which admittedly can be a little hit and miss, it is nothing short of genuine and loving in its representation of the four core women. Individually, they are fascinating. As a group, with a friendship and chemistry that is undeniable, they really do create something magic.