Swanner: Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) is a successful self help writer who is is the key speaker at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. This is the perfect time to get her three lifelong friends together after a five year self imposed break. Will this sisterhood be able to mend after all these years? Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish make up the rest of the “Girls” in this very funny Girls Trip.
Judd: Girls Trip was written by Kenya Barris (Black-ish), Karen McCullah, (The House Bunny), Tracy Oliver (Barbershop: The Next Cut), and Erica Rivinoja (The Last Man on Earth). Outside of Kenya’s writing for the acclaimed Black-ish, the rest of the writing crew should have tipped me off for what I was about to see. Girls Trip had funny moments, but did not take the genre anywhere new and clumsily threw in some tired empowerment tropes for good measure.
Swanner: After the mediocre Rough Night from earlier this summer I wasn’t looking to lift up the genre, I wanted a funny, over the top, R rated comedy. That’s exactly what I got. Director Malcolm D. Lee who has become a prominent rom com director took this funny script and let his cast run with it. The other nice thing about Lee’s productions are that he always delivers a very attractive cast. A few funny moments? I spent two hours laughing my ass off.
Judd: I, too, was looking for a female comedy that hit the mark Rough Night missed, but Girls Trip wasn’t it. The conflict is projected within the first five minutes of the movie, and the characters are never built up past their two dimensional outline. We’ve got The Successful One with a Secret, The Wild One, The Single Mother Who Hasn’t Had Sex in Years, and The One Who’s Holding a Grudge Against the Successful One. The villain is a Ratchet Ho and Cheating Husband. The jester is The White Woman Who Says Awkward “Black” Things. I understand there is a formula to these kinds of movies, but if you don’t do something to set it apart, which Girls Trip did not, then it’s just one more to throw on the pile.
Swanner: I totally disagree with you on this one. Some of the characters may be familiar, but from the guy who complains that he wants a cut-loose R rated raunchy girl comedy and when he gets it, he now wants more depth of character? Two of the women urinate in the middle of Bourbon Street and you want a growth of the genre? It sounds like you don’t know what you want. I got everything I was hoping for, and more. I don’t think anyone that wants to see Girls Trip is going to leave disappointed.
Judd: So what you’re saying is that audience can’t have both? They have to be content with either decent characters or a raunchy comedy? Apparently then, you missed the whole message of the movie. You don’t have to settle for less, and when you strive for more, that’s when you really succeed. I’m glad you got the movie you wanted, but some of us know that we deserve better.
Swanner: 3 stars
Judd: 2 stars