My female relationships have shaped me since the beginning of my little life. In kindergarten I had my friend Angela. We were best friends and I didn’t want anyone else to be her friend. When I went to high school, my friendships developed into a real life clique. We even had a name. We called ourselves The B.E.V.Y. We were the ‘Beautiful Essential Vibrant Youth’. We weren’t the super cool girls. We were the quirky weird ones that were lucky to find ourselves together.
When I got to college, my new friends and I called ourselves Caribbean Vibes. I went to a very white school in Minnesota and when I spotted brown girls with accents, we all clung together and found ourselves taking over the kitchen of our dorm room for pot lucks. While everyone was cooking ramen, we were cooking peas, rice, and chicken in sauce.
So when I saw Girls Trip, I got really nostalgic. The trailer looked like the women were going to have a blast. There aren’t many examples of black sisterhood on the big screen other than Set it Off and The Color Purple. And reality television has kinda destroyed any example of black friendships. Every time the women in these shows have a bonding moment, producers break them up for drama about two episodes later. The last time we had amazing women on screen was in Mara Brock Akil’s Girlfriends which showed the nuance of female relationships. I wish there were more fun-loving relationships in movies and on television.
Girl’s Trip takes us on the trip of a lifetime to the blackest celebration of sisterhood ever, the Essence Music Festival where the four women of the film unite.
The movie starts with a flashback montage of the women that made me relive my days in The B.E.V.Y. The four ladies in the movie call themselves The Flossy Posse.
We have Ryan (Regina Hall, Black-ish), a married Oprah-like author building her lifestyle empire. And there’s Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith, Bad Moms), the prude divorcee with two kids.
Then there’s Sasha (Queen Latifah, Star), a journalist who is stuck running a failing gossip blog. And there’s Dina (Tiffany Haddish, Legends of Chamberlain Heights), the party girl who brings the unadulterated R-rated comedy.
What I love about Girl’s Trip is how different the women all are. Each represents a little of each of us. If you can’t align with one of them, you can grab a piece of each woman to find yourself.
Throughout the movie, Ryan tries to balance her television persona with her questionable marriage to Stewart Pierce (Mike Colter, Luke Cage). (Just so you know, Mike Colter looks as great in a suit as he does in a hoodie.) Pierce’s trifling ways have Ryan trying to keep the ‘perfect face’ during this unpredictable weekend. Meanwhile, Lisa is debating whether she should hang up her old lady dresses for something sexy. Sasha is trying to keep her financial secret from breaking up the group. And Dina is making sure everyone is having fun while stirring things up with her unhinged approach to life.
Each woman evolves through the movie and the jokes keep coming. Let’s just say I spit out my soda.
Girls Trip allows black women to be real and expressive. We find this most when Lisa finally lets her guard down with chocolate heartthrob Malik (Kofi Siriboe) of Queen Sugar. We all learn that “grapefruiting your man” is not only sexy but dangerous. By the way, if you personally don’t have a grapefruit, I’m told a navel orange works.
Nineties babies rejoice because Larenz Tate, the man who stole our hearts in Love Jones, is back to be the sweetest partner a woman could want. He has his eyes on Ryan but his chivalry is extended to all the women. He rescues the women in a variety of situations including when they end up in a bar room brawl with their new arch nemesis.
One of my favorite scenes is the dance battle scene for so many reasons. First, the entire audience knew all the songs and we were singing along and bopping our heads. Second, the battle is complete with Set It Off wigs which allow the continuum of badass sisterhood to continue. For those of you that forgot, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith were disguised in bobbed wigs back in 1996 when they were sexy robbers in Set it Off. Don’t worry though, Girls Trip doesn’t kill anyone off. In fact, our ladies all end up with really cute custom jean jackets. I wish I had thought of custom jackets for The B.E.V.Y. back in the day.
One of the biggest surprises in the movie is all of the celebrity cameos. These ladies are living their dreams when they spot Diddy, Mariah Carey, Iyanla Vanzant, Maxwell, Common, Estelle, Ma$e, Faith Evans, Terry McMillan, Ne-Yo, Ava Duvernay and so many others.
I left with so many feels from Girls Trip and can’t thank these ladies enough for giving 100 percent to every scene. It delivers belly laughs and a few life lessons on friendship along the way. It balances heart and laughs into a 100 million dollar US box office success. I’ve only seen it twice but I wanted to call all my friends after this rare gem… at least the ones I didn’t bring with me.