Summary:The film tells the story of four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Music Festival, where sisterhoods are rekindled and wild sides are rediscovered.
Cast and Characters. So, I’m only going to mainly talk about the main four women with the inclusion of two male characters because they’re the more important male characters. All the leading women have their own issues, sometimes things are obvious and sometimes it’s learned as it goes along.
Regina Hall as Ryan. She is an author, she and her husband have a brand together that inspires other people. Ryan is a business woman, she’s classy in her attire, in the way she presents herself and it seems like she is the most level-headed out of the group. She keeps her feelings to herself and bottled up, she has a tendency to judge people a bit to hard, and she definitely has her fears, denials and pain. Without spoiling her arc in the film, I really liked her and I identified with her a lot in some of the things she does, mostly with her feelings, and I was like wow, really close to home BUT I thought that Regina Hall did a really good job. I never really considered her that great of an actress but this is definitely some of her better work in that I didn’t think she was trying to hard. It felt natural to me. If I had to label her she is the “classy/sensible” one.
Queen Latifah as Sasha. She was a journalism major in school, she started off as a serious journalist but she let that go to become a tabloid writer (with a website online). There is a rift between her and Ryan and she has her own personal struggles that she keeps to herself. She was a bit of a fashionista but you can’t help but to wonder just how low she would possibly go to do her job. You’re just not too sure with her. I don’t think she has much change to go through in the film, I mean she does end a bit differently than she does in the beginning but she also seems consistent in who she is throughout (along with Dina). Queen is always great, her comedy is great as always, the dramatic parts she handles well, I love Queen.
Jada Pinkett Smith as Lisa. Lisa is definitely the “mom” of the group, she dealt with love and divorce and the only one of the four with kids. She is very much involved with her kids and is very… uptight which is apparently not what she used to be. Everyone has hope that this trip will loosen her up while also enjoying time with a man lol. She is very against this but she does begin to loosen up and her storyline is connected a lot with Kofi Siriboe, which there is a great scene with some grapefruits lol. Lisa also tries to be the mediator between the group, especially between Sasha and Ryan. She has a nice little arc as well.
Tiffany Haddish as Dina. Dina is the funniest of the group, she also seems like the youngest one (that might also have to do with the fact that the actress is younger than the rest as well). She is the wildest, she is willing to do things, to try new things and does not care about it in the least. Dina is also the loyal one while also being the freak. A lot of the laughs come from her, a lot of ridiculous things that happen is because of her and her facial expressions. There were a few times where she annoyed me in her jokes, or humor but that’s the friend she is and it was endearing a lot of the times. I’ve never seen Tiffany Haddish in anything, especially seriously, and I thought she was good in her role. Her comedic timing was really good for a lot of her jokes and reactions to things.
Mike Colter as Stuart. LUKE CAGE! He is Ryan’s husband, I think he played some sport, but his role of course is with her while also being part of their brand due to her book “You Can Have It All”. He is smooth, charismatic and good-looking *swoons*. His purpose is served. Mike Colter does it well.
Lorenz Tate as Julian. He is an immortal because he looks the SAME! If anything, he looks sooo better now but he looks the same. Julian is a musician, he shows up throughout the film and helps the ladies out in a jam, he seemed to have a thing in the past with Ryan. Julian is very likable which I think Lorenz Tate helps the most with that. Julian is likable period but Tate really makes him lovable due to his boyish looks and approach. He’s great. *swoons* Love him.
The Humor. The film is hilarious. My audience in the screening was definitely great but it’s very funny. There is a lot of different types of humor, a lot can be reactionary for the characters which makes the moment hilarious. Dina is the source for a lot of laughs, and Lisa’s situations are funny. There is a great scene with some dangerous alcohol that is one of the best comedic scenes in the film, has a lot of “The Hangover” feels to it. It is very sexual, which you don’t always see in films with women, at least not like this, which also makes it great because we have a group of black women doling out this kind of humor.
The Fashion/The Location. The clothes these ladies wear are beautiful! Dina wears some awesome clothes with great colors, kind of eccentric! Ryan of course has the more classy type of clothing which I loooooved, Sasha had this funky style and Lisa has the motherly style that the others change by giving her clothes to wear lol. The film is set in New Orleans during The Essence Festival which allows for great set pieces in the town, on the road, with the music. Colors, music, outrageous stuff in the backgrounds. It was a great place to set the film.
There was a great reference to an older film when they go into this club. I won’t spoil it but I loved it.
The Sisterhood. This film banks on these four women having chemistry with each other, while allowing the audience to believe their friendship. If they didn’t work, then it would be impossible to believe that they were friends since college, but Hall, Queen, Pinkett-Smith and Haddish makes it believable. The way they talk and treat each other feels like a real friendship, especially a friendship that was long but strained by time and distance. It was realistic. The emotional and dramatic moments between them were fantastic and each woman sold their role in their group of friends. When they fought it didn’t feel like acting, it felt like there was actual history there. Plus, there is nothing like seeing black women bask in something that highlights and celebrates them in the Essence Festival, and each other. Their friendship being boosted by the Essence Festival was so beautiful that I think any black woman (especially with her girls) will feel happy to see this.
The Story. So the story is pretty basic in that Ryan is going to the Festival to be a keynote speaker and she uses this experience to bring her friends back together after about five years of being apart. Even though the story is cliché in that a group of friends come together, have fun and stuff is revealed that causes rifts etc. the way it’s handled in the film, doesn’t feel stale. I think a lot of that has to do with the actresses and not necessarily the script itself.
Cliche. Like I said, the story is pretty basic which prevents the story from being a major highlight of the film. It’s important but the characters are what drives it forward instead of the story just happening around them. But the idea of them not seeing each other in years, getting together due to some reason (Ryan’s speech), funny things happen that possibly bring them closer only for them to be pushed apart etc. it’s all very cliché movie storylines.
Crude/Humor. Humor is very subjective and I think it’s important to note that the humor in this film doesn’t hold back, and it’s very raunchy and crude and that might be too much for some people. It’s not really a problem for me but it’s something that I recognize for those who weren’t expecting it. It can be a little much. There are also times where it doesn’t always hit. It’s not a lot of times but there are times.
Overall, I really liked Girl’s Trip and I had to wonder if I liked it because of the audience I had in my screening or if I actually really liked it (since I liked it) and after deliberation, I decided I did really like. I think the cast was great in their roles, especially the four core ladies, their friendship was believable, they were honest to each other, to the audience and to themselves. They felt like real friends. I think the film would have failed on being another raunchy summer comedy if it wasn’t for Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Tiffany Haddish’s rapport with each other and their likability. Each lady is actual very likable. The sisterhood is the core of this film, it’s the humor, the emotion/drama and main reason to see the film. They are great. The drama is also good, and handled very well, it felt real and not like a film in a movie. It’s very funny, the comedic timing of the characters, especially Tiffany Haddish (which makes her a standout) is very good and when it hits, it hits very strong. On the other hand, I can imagine some people not being able to handle the humor, I know that it doesn’t always hit and sometimes it’s more uncomfortable than funny. The story is also cliche which is saved by the actresses and their chemistry together.
Rating: 4.39 out of 5 stars.
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