No doubt about it: Girls Trip is an instant classic.
I basically watch movies for a living and never have I laughed as much as I did this weekend. (Full disclaimer: I've already seen Girls Trip twice.)
Following a reunion of sorts for a quartet of college friends known as the "Flossy Posse," Girls Trip is a whopping good time that can only be described as Sex and the City meets Bridesmaids, but with black women and quite honestly, 1000x better!
Taking place in the Crescent City (i.e. New Orleans), the film follows Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), a perfect wife and mother turned single mom; Sasha (Queen Latifah), a journalist turned broke gossip blogger; Dina (Tiffany Haddish), a raucous party girl; and Ryan (Regina Hall), a lifestyle guru married to an athlete named Stewart (Mike Colter) and the author of a best-selling book entitled You Can Have It All and their time at the annual #BlackGirlMagic meet-up known as ESSENCE Festival.
The women’s wild weekend gets complicated, however, when Sasha receives a paparazzi photo of Ryan’s husband Stewart with a predatory Instagram model, sparking drama, secrets, and jealousy.
As a former ESSENCE employee, this movie did the festival an insane amount of justice. It was a surreal experience watching the festival played out on screen especially being that I was there last year working! (If you go see it and spot me, let me know!) The New Edition concerts, seeing Mariah Carey, hanging out in the VIP lounge, sampling the food from the ESSENCE Eats area-all of it is just as magical as it looks on screen.
The celebration of sisterhood involved plenty of quotable and stomach-clenching moments (purely from laughter) thanks to breakout star Tiffany Haddish. She complimented the more serious storylines perfectly and forever changed the way I will look at a grapefruit. Her raunchy persona was a nice change from the usual stuffy, buttoned-up way black women are portrayed on-screen. And for this we have co-writer Tracy Oliver to thank.
“I think we need to show all aspects of black lives,” Oliver told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I love Moonlight. I love Hidden Figures, but I also want to see some people who are having fun and just showing female friends hanging out. It doesn’t have to always be so serious," she continued. We can just relax and like hang out and have a good time, too.”
Although I'm a journalist I found myself identifying most with Ryan, the strong friend. A wildly successful young entrepreneur who "has it all" I sometimes struggle to keep up with the charade of my life.. As a 23-year-old thriving magazine editor, blogger living in NYC, I’m often the one my friends call on in their times of need, but don't always feel the support in return.
While it may be too late for me and some of those friends, Girls Trip gave me hope that one day I'll find my own "Flossy Posse," and reminded me that it's okay to not always be the "strong one." Definitely the perfect reminder at a time like this for me.
Hey, the movie even gave me hope that I'll find my own Julian (i.e. Larenz Tate). Lord, let me tell you. The other amazing thing about this film is the showing of black love. I didn't see anything but fine chocolate men onscreen with my favorite being Ryan's almost-love interest. That bass player is something else I tell you! I might go see the movie again just for him.
Few movies over the years have adequately touched on black female friendships (Waiting to Exhale, Set It Off) and I'm happy to see this one added to the collection of greats.
Point blank: Girls Trip was fantastic and even had a perfect ending. In one of the final scenes Regina Hall’s character mentioned that there is something powerful about being in the presence of people who know the real you–and frankly I couldn’t agree more.
Here's to celebrating one of the greatest movies of our time!
Photo from Universal Pictures