Girls Trip is simultaneously a rare and conventional film. It’s the classic road-trip-gross-out comedy summer release that we’ve all seen before, with a beautiful cast who can drink vats of alcohol yet never vomit. But we haven’t seen it led by four black women in their (whisper it) 40s.
Jada Pinkett-Smith plays former party girl turned highly strung mother Lisa, Queen Latifah is Sasha, a journalist turned gossip blogger and Regina Hall’s Ryan Pearce is a hugely successful lifestyle guru. Only Dina, played by break-out star Tiffany Haddish, has stayed true to her party girl roots that the ‘Flossy Posse’ was known for in college. When Ryan is invited as the keynote speaker for the Essence Festival she seizes the opportunity to reunite the Flossy Posse for a wild weekend in New Orleans. And it is wild.
This film has a lot of things going for it, a fantastic lead cast, all of whom seem dedicated to wringing as much comedy as possible from every scene. It addresses some interesting issues, from personal branding and the concept of ‘having it all’ to women seeking casual sex. Kate Walsh brings the cringe as Ryan’s agent, a white woman who thinks she has the 411 and permission to adopt black slang even after Ryan skilfully schools her on privilege. I can’t think of the last film that had this many cameos in and there’s even a dance off scene.
But occasionally Girls Trip feels like the writers just scattered a pack of Cards Against Humanity and went with it. For all it’s formulaic use of raucous humour, audiences will no doubt find it refreshing to see a film with women letting loose and for that, we’re on board. It most certainly pisses from a great height on the notion that 2011’s Bridesmaids was the female version of The Hangover.
Girls Trip is released in UK cinemas on Wednesday 26th July