Four college pals reunite on raucous ‘Trip’ to New Orleans
In the now familiar tradition of people behaving (very) badly for comic effect, the New Orleans-set “Girls Trip” gleefully and gladly goes for broke.
In “Girls Trip,” four women who bonded decades earlier as the Flossy Posse — Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish — reunite for a weekend of nostalgia and raucous good times.
The occasion is New Orleans’ annual Essence Fest, where Hall’s Oprah-like bestselling lifestyle author Ryan Pierce is a keynote speaker. She’s got the picture-perfect marriage to footballer Stewart (Mike Colter) — an immediate red flag for anyone who has seen a Lifetime TV movie.
Ryan hasn’t seen her college posse in five years and there are issues that need to be resolved.
Pinkett Smith’s single mom Lisa is obsessive about her maternal duties, and the posse intends to push her to reawaken her sexual desire.
Latifah’s Sasha, broke and desperate with a tabloid celebrity site that’s failing, is tempted to betray Ryan with photographic proof that there’s a sensuous homewrecker (Deborah Ayorinde) in that picture-perfect nest.
Newcomer Haddish takes “Girls” and, like Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids,” puts it in her pocket as scene-stealing sexually aggressive Dina, who is unfiltered, unfettered and unapologetically wild.
If “Girls Trip” is the black female version of (take your pick) “The Hangover,” “Bridesmaids” or “Bad Moms,” writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”) is fearless in letting his women be as crude as they wanna be.
Unabashedly a “hard” R-rated comedy for its language, brief male nudity, sexual antics and bodily functions going public, “Girls” is also intent on offering Oprah-style uplift with a message about not giving up self-respect simply to be coupled.
It’s better, Hall’s Ryan declares, to be alone and not lonely.
With Essence Fest cameos by Sean Combs, New Edition and Mariah Carey, there are also spot-on turns by Larenz Tate as the nicest guy in New Orleans and Kate Walsh as Ryan’s ridiculously upbeat agent.
There is also a really unfortunate tendency by Lee to repeatedly suggest that the best way to solve conflict is with physical violence. It’s irresponsible, it’s wrong and it should not be, as “Girls Trip” does, encouraged.
“Girls Trip” doesn’t wonder how low you can go — it just goes there.