REVIEW: Girls Trip
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
By Christopher Spencer
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Girls Trip stars Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, and Mike Colter. Ryan (Hall), Sasha (Latifah), Lisa (Pinkett Smith) and Dina (Haddish) are a close group of girlfriends called the Flossy Posse, reunited after living separate lives and hitting the wild life of New Orleans for one crazy girls weekend. Shenanigans are expected.
What makes a great comedy for me is the ability to go beyond simple jokes, to use physicality, dark and sardonic humour, improv and just plainly unique writing to full effect. Girls Trip has most of the former elements but very little of the latter.
The cast and their associated characters are incredibly fun and I deeply enjoyed watching them. The way that Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina interacted with each other felt like these were people who had spent 20 years being friends. Haddish and Pinkett Smith definitely stood out as being the most consistently and surprisingly hilarious. Pinkett Smith has never been THIS funny and I’ve never seen before Haddish, but I sorely wish I had sooner. I just want so much more from both of them right now.
Girls Trip is also competently directed and has a mostly consistent level of humour that gets the jokes to land well, but to differing degrees. What didn’t work for me was the unnecessary and over-the-top piss joke, and the dramatic writing.
This is a fun movie to watch for most of it, but a large chunk of Girls Trip is spent on this dramatic plot about Ryan’s husband’s adultery and how her friends react and deal with that. It takes up too much time, and when I wasn’t laughing at the jokes, I was just checking my watch, feeling unsurprised by the incredibly predictable narrative.
If you’ve ever seen a romantic-comedy from the 2000s or even last year’s Bad Moms (trust me, there’s way more similarities than you might think), Girls Trip’s plot can be seen from space. If the movie took more time to trim down this dramatic side and instead find a more unique way to connect the solid comedy, then I would have had a total blast. Girls Trip is really a one-night stand movie: easy, quick, really fun, but you know exactly what’s going to happen. And sometimes that’s just OK.