It’s the start of the weekend, and we’re all looking for the films that’ll fill out our evening plans with our best friends and other halves. One of those potential choices is Girls Trip starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Girls Trip is about a quartet of women who are known as The Flossy Posse. There’s Ryan (Hall), a successful business woman who has it all, a great career and a loving husband (Mike Colter). She’s joined by Sasha (Latifah), a journalist who is using her degree in journalism to lack lustre effect because all she’s doing is reporting on news topics TMZ wouldn’t touch. Their group is rounded out by single mom Lisa (Smith), who is starved for love, and wild child Dina (Haddish) who’s a nonstop cavalcade of profanity. When we meet our heroines, they’ve drifted apart over the years and Ryan, while setting up a trip to Essence Music Festival to finish a deal that will make her rich, decides it’s time to reform the Flossy Posse for one last hurrah. Sasha see’s this as an opportunity to grow her brand, Lisa hopes to get some loving, and Dina wants to go because she wants to drink with her friends.
Girls Trip is a comedy in the broadest sense of the term there are moments of laughter but for the first half an hour there’s nothing beyond a chuckle and this is all down to the lack of genuinely decent writing. The journey of each character throughout the film is so predictable that you’re never fully engaged because there’s no sense of creativity. The story doesn’t go anywhere we haven’t seen before in better comedies like Bridesmaids, and the acting isn’t nearly to the same standard. This is all mainly due to the poor directing from Malcolm D. Lee who is known for the fifth film in the Scary Movie franchise, easily the worst in the series. He doesn’t know how to fully utilise the talent he has on hand. He doesn’t offer anything unique to the genre with Girls Trip; his main go to comedic choice is gross out gags. One, in particular, is a usage of bodily fluids that just comes across as childish and unapologetically unfunny. Thankfully though Hall, Latifah, Smith, and Haddish have an excellent rapport. They bounce off each other and clearly are having a ball and there are a handful of scenes where they are infectiously charming. Unfortunately, the film throws too many terrible jokes at the screen for the audience to fully appreciate this relationship dynamic. One pleasant side effect is that with so many jokes being thrown at the screen now and then one of a dozen jokes lands, and you can’t help but giggle at the absurdity of it all.
The element that truly buries Girls Trip in the coffin of mediocrity is that the film is over half an hour too long. Clocking in at 122 minutes the film overstays its welcome and meanders to a cliché ridden final act.
Ultimately Girls Trip is a run of the mill comedy with a surprisingly raucous charm and genuine chemistry within its cast. Sadly though when 9 out of 10 jokes don’t land, and the characters are wrapped in a never-ending story that you wish you could escape from it’s probably best to see this with your besties with a few cocktails or pints in you.