Movie Review: “Girls Trip” Relies On The Golden Girls Ratio

“Don’t let yourself think too hard about any substance in the message...or if there even is a message. Basically, don’t expect anything too 'real' from this film, even as it pretends to peel back the facade and celebrate real, black women and their friendships.”


 

When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

What do you get when you put a control freak with a crazy bitch and a gossip whore with a corporate slave? Now add in excessive stereotyping between black power and white wannabes…and put all of that into a 2-hour long gospel service with equal parts cheating man, a five-year feud between friends, every possible emotion gone publicly wild, every bodily urge top priority, all set in the glamorized disparity of New Orleans. The finale is a Harlequin romance specialty with a courageous stand and a tearful confession with, thankfully, all other necessary elements of money, friendship, and love falling perfectly into place.

The Flossy Posse (FP) is a group of black girlfriends who have been close friends since high school, although they haven’t seen each other in five years. Now they are coming together once again at the Essence Festival in the “Big Easy” as VIP guests of Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), author of best-selling book, “You Can Have It All.” Sasha (Queen Latifah) is a gossip blogger, Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), a micro-managing mom, and Dina (Tiffany Haddish), the reckless daredevil. The story centers around Ryan, her public persona, her fake happy marriage, and her cheatin’ man. As the motivational speaker of “you can have it all,” she is ashamed to admit that she doesn’t have it all and her friends prove to be there for her when she finally has to face the music.

Quite honestly, the film is an easy crowd pleaser and I’m certain this is because of the basic “Golden Girls” configuration of the film’s characters. A tight knit group of 4 or 5 impossibly mismatched personalities and you can enjoy sit-com banter for a full two hours without ever feeling disappointed by the lack of any real plot substance. The laughs come hard and heavy from the start, along with the raw power of sex.

Unfortunately, the shock value of in-your-face sex is about the only form of humor in “Girls Trip.” From learning how to “grapefruit him”…to a 60-year-old, flaccid dick smashed against a seedy hotel window,…to watching not, one, but two sexy black women spray urine all over a crowd of onlookers as if their vaginas were a busted fire hydrant, the thought might cross your mind:

What kind of sexual deviant wrote this script??

In fact, I’m kind of at a loss to think of any intelligent humor that was used in the film, but then again, who the hell cares?!? The theater crowd sure didn’t. They were roaring with laughter, murmuring “mm-hmms” and “that’s right,” and awwing as appropriately as if there had been cue cards being flashed from stage left. So just a word of caution: Don’t let yourself think too hard about any substance in the message…or if there even is a message. Basically, don’t expect anything too “real” from this film, even as it pretends to peel back the facade and celebrate real, black women and their friendships. Enjoy “Girls Trip” for its excessiveness, its outrageousness and the predictable feel-good ending of life, liberty, and happy pussies for all.

Now playing in theaters


 

Jeanne Antoinette

Raised in the gypsy wanderings of two ex-Mennonites who dared to question traditional thought, Jeanne continues her family legacy – usually by asking [too] many questions and constantly exploring outside the box. She has lived in 11 states and has 11 college transcripts, which humorously combine to make her seem overqualified, but also minimally credentialed. She loves libraries, linguistics, singing, and of course, writing. Her passion, at its core, is about communication and connection through storytelling. Jeanne is currently practicing the art of “staying” in San Antonio, along with her two children.

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