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The ladies shine in Girls Trip

Universal Pictures' hilarious comedy, Girls Trip, is sure to draw comparisons to last month's Rough Night from naysayers. While their general premise is the same (friends from college reuniting), the similarities end there. The comedy genre can be a hit or miss most of the time. What one person may find funny, the next person may not, which is why comedy is layered, and the R-rated comedy will always be a mainstay. Girls Trip has achieved what previously R-rated comedies released this year (Snatched, Fist Fight, Chips, and Rough Night) failed to do. And that is stick with its audience long after the credits roll.

Four female friends, known as the "Flossy Posse," reunite for a wild weekend at the Essence Festival. Regina Hall plays Ryan Pierce, a self-help author and leader of the group who, while successful, has a philandering husband. The spouse is played with just the right amount of dogism by Mike Colter, of Luke Cage fame. The rest of the ladies, Sasha (Queen Latifah), Dina (Tiffany Haddish in a breakout performance), and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), each have their share of problems as well. Sasha is having financial trouble, Dina just got fired from her job, and Lisa is a divorcee of two years who has forgotten how to have fun. Despite their problems, it doesn't stop them from reuniting to support Lisa. She happens to be the keynote speaker at the Essence Festival.

The script was written by Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver, who previously collaborated on Barbershop: The Next Cut. The duo's screenplay gives each lady a chance to shine, which can sometimes be rare in an ensemble comedy. The preview audience I screened the film with spent most of the movie laughing out loud, as the jokes came at a rapid pace. It's always refreshing to see a comedy where ALL of the good jokes aren't in the trailer, which is the case with Girls Trip.

Director Malcolm D. Lee again shows he can effectively juggle four successful African American friends on screen. Watching the film, I was reminded of the chemistry he created with the males in The Best Man movies. Girls Trip's strength is in the film's heart, and the chemistry between the leads and the male characters aren't underwritten or wasted either. Outstanding supporting work comes in Larenz Tate, a friend of the women from college, and Malik (Kofi Siriboe of Queen Sugar fame). He serves as a love interest for Lisa.

While the film's two-hour running time may turn off some viewers, I never found myself bored at all with the movie. No matter your ethnic background, you will find something you can relate to in Girls Trip. Filled with meme-ready jokes, memorable one-liners, and cameos galore (including one from my favorite music group). The film is easily the most fun I've had at the movies this summer. Also, it's one of my top films of the year. Girls Trip is r and highly recommended.


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