Stowaway on the ‘Girls Trip’

Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish in ‘Girls Trip’

“Things are seldom as they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream” – Gilbert and Sullivan lyric from H.M.S. Pinafore

Introducing the four members of the “Flossy Posse”

“Ryan Pierce” (Regina Hall – Think Like a Man) is a very successful self-help author whose books sell the concept that women can “have it all.”  It appears she does, married to “Stewart” (Mike Colter – Zero Dark Thirty), a former NFL superstar.  “Elizabeth” (Kate Walsh – Perks of Being a Wallflower) her very dedicated agent has negotiated a multi-million dollar deal with the fictional “Best Mart” but it won’t close until after Ryan delivers the keynote speech at the upcoming Essence Fest in New Orleans.

“Sasha Franklin” (Queen Latifah – The Secret Life of Bees) was a talented and rising investigative journalist until something went wrong.  Now she runs a gossip website and her financial house of cards is going to collapse under its own weight unless she can land a big scoop.

“Dina” (Tiffany Haddish – Keanu) is a woman who lives every second of her life as though it might end right there.  She toils away at an office job and she’s in for a big surprise when she heads into the HR office to ask for Friday off; as she’s going away for the weekend.

“Lisa Cooper” (Jada Pinkett Smith – The Women) is a nurse, single mother and a woman who hasn’t gotten laid since her marriage fell apart.

This foursome was inseparable during their years together at college, but something happened five years ago that has prevented them from all getting together until now.  Ryan is flying them to New Orleans for the weekend, to share her suite at one of the best hotels at town.

The problems begin when Sasha learns that Ryan’s husband is having an affair with an Instagram model, and she has photographic evidence.  Ryan knew, but thought that Stewart had ended the dalliance.  Once all of the women know, Dina has a confrontation with Stewart at the hotel that results in their needing to find a new place to reside for this weekend.  After they wind up in a motel hell that no one should experience, their old friend “Julian” (Larenz Tate – Ray) a major music artist comes to the rescue.

Regina Hall and Mike Colter in ‘Girls Trip’

There is raunchiness, booze, drugs, and sex galore as the ladies enjoy the heck out of themselves.  A bottle of Absinthe comes into play in a hilarious way.  There is even a frenetic dance-off sequence.  The jokes and sexual references make the film’s R-rating well-deserved, but their effectiveness also makes them very welcome.  I promise you this, you will never look at a grapefruit in the same way ever again.

Director Malcolm D. Lee (Roll Bounce, The Best Man Holiday)also gives his talented cast room to develop their characters and the relationships that bind them together so tightly.  Shooting during an actual Essence Fest provided plenty of celebrity cameo opportunities.  There are moments when the movie’s music overpowers some scenes but all in all this is a very minor detail.  Regina Hall and Queen Latifah have the most significant characters arcs to work with but all four women are wonderful.  Kate Walsh’s talents are sadly wasted in her small part.  The climactic speech from “Ryan” delivers the strongest and best message in the film.  It is well worth waiting for.

[imdb id = tt3564472]

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