Girls Trip could have easily turned into one of those comedies that gives its actors way too long of a leash when they don’t know what to do with that much freedom. That’s the post-Apatow world of comedy we live in. Instead, director Malcolm D. Lee knows how to harness each actor’s abilities and doesn’t let them riff for an unnecessary amount of time, helping with pacing despite the long runtime.
The comedy is consistent and cohesive, never seeming like certain jokes are out of place. Impressive considering the natural flow of the dialogue with very few ad-libs. It just shows how smart the script really is and how great the actors are at delivering each punch.
The story follows four longtime friends who take a trip to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. At this point in their lives, the girls don’t speak much anymore for a variety of reasons, both noteworthy and innocuous. Along the way, they each rediscover themselves and try to rekindle the friendship they used to have together.
Girls Trip doesn’t rely on any marquee names in the comedy world to get people into the theater. And actually gives us one. Tiffany Haddish was the “it” girl of 2017 because of her performance here. And rightfully so.
The movie does what the Hangover did and what Bridesmaids was supposed to do. It gives us a cool and slick comedy that doesn’t pull any punches. Adding New Orleans as the backdrop is the cherry on top.
The four girls are archetypes in a way, yes, but extremely well-understood ones. The script understands the characters it’s working with as if they’re real people.
Girls Trip could’ve easily turned into just another cameo-filled comedy–which it is at times–but never needing that to make it fun.
My only gripe is how it abruptly anchors its agenda at the end with its closing message, which is that no matter whom you marry in life, your friends should always come first. Even in a happy marriage? That might even make a happy marriage turn south. Everyone is different. Some people grow up and move on from their friends. Or friendships merely lessen as other priorities come to the forefront, like spouses and children. We might just see those friends every once in awhile for a fun weekend. But that misdirected message is delivered here as a blanket statement. A little forced, and an unfortunate end to an otherwise pretty seamless movie.