Plot: Ryan (Regina Hall) has built a lifestyle empire, empowering women to “have it all” and her husband Stewart (Mike Colter) is right by her side, making the couple a vision of ideal marriage. While her life is great, she does miss her old crew and the days when things were more about fun than work. So when she is asked to give the keynote speech at the Essence Festival, she sees a chance to reunite her posse and invites her crew to join her on the trip. Sasha (Queen Latifah) is struggling to make ends meet, Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) needs to get laid, and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) just wants to party so hard that New Orleans will never be the same. But soon after they arrive, Sasha is sent a picture of Ryan’s husband with another woman, which is when the girls learn that Ryan’s marriage is more about business than love. The other woman is even at the festival too, which ensures that sooner or later, drama will spark. Will this trip give the girls the escape they all needed, or will it simply open old wounds and prove that you can never go back?
Entertainment Value: The “women gone wild” genre has had some big releases, such as Bridesmaids, Bad Moms, and Rough Night, but these movies played if safe and as such, come off as overly tame. But Girls Trip breaks that trend, as this movie pulls no punches and throws our crew into a hurricane of alcohol, sex talk, and more drama than one movie can handle. I do think it still relies too much on foul language over creative chaos, but compared to most of the genre, Girls Trip ups the ante, to be sure. The movie was a smash success at the box office, so it proves that audiences can handle a little more craziness. The main cast is good here and has terrific chemistry, which is crucial since the movie is all about the bonds of friendship. But to me, the real star of this movie is Tiffany Haddish, as she brings the craziness at an epic level and never slows down even for a second. She has outrageous moments in almost every scene and it seems so natural, as if chaos is her spirit animal. If the movie didn’t have her energy and charisma, it would lose a lot of flow and charm. The movie lands a good deal of the humor, but falters a little when it tries to be serious, as Ryan’s relationship drama drags the pace and just isn’t interesting to watch. But when the focus is on the girls, the movie is a lot of fun and has a great vibe. So if you like comedies or chick flicks with an R rated edge, Girls Trip is worth a spin.
A lot of sex talk happens, but the only nakedness is when an elderly man presses his penis against a window. I do appreciate hobo nudity, so that was a win, but you might expect more sexual content given all the dirty talk, so don’t be surprised when it is all talk and no action. No blood. Some drama sparks a little violence, but it is brief and never graphic. A fun bar brawl breaks out after a dance off, but it is more outlandish than violent. Although, Dina does have a great scene where she breaks a wine bottle and threatens to go nuclear, but the situation is defused. The dialogue is usually fun, but it does seem like the writers believed that profanity is always funny, which isn’t always the case. When it becomes character driven humor, the dialogue is effective, but when the movie tries for intentional shock value, it often falls flat. As I said before, Dina is the main attraction and she is given a lot of the best lines, all of which are performed to perfection by Haddish. She’s able to make even mediocre lines pack a comedic punch, so I hope to see her in more wild roles down the road. So while inconsistent, the dialogue has a lot of bright spots and produces some memorable lines. In terms of craziness, this movie does go further than most in the genre, but it still stays within mainstream lines of content. So it does have some wild moments and Haddish is outrageous, but don’t expect some insane ride here.
Overall Insanity: 3/10