Wayback Wednesday: Girls Trip (2017)

We will never look at grapefruit the same way ever again.

Hands down one of the BEST experiences I’ve ever had in a movie theatre was when I went to see Girls Trip (2017). It was the middle of summer vacation, my best friends and I went to a little theatre downtown and the audience was filled with people who came READY to watch what I wholeheartedly believe to be the funniest comedy of that year. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to watch a raucous comedy with an audience of people who have the most enthusiastic, most animated, most laugh out loud hilarious reactions to the super fun movie you’re watching, you’ll understand what a blast I had. It’s an indescribably joyous and incredibly rare experience and it makes watching an already great movie all the more fun and memorable. Which is totally appropriate because “fun and memorable” is the perfect way to describe Girls Trip.

Credit: imdb.com / Universal Pictures

Girls Trip follows Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina, four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, their first girls trip together in five years. Anything but an ordinary weekend, during the trip secret resentments are uncovered, wild sides are rekindled and bonds of friendship are strengthened. All while giving New Orleans an experience it will never forget.

Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If a movie features a fabulous cast of leading actresses, I will show up and support that movie wholeheartedly. And then I will continue to support that movie for years. My love for Girls Trip has been strong since I first saw it five years ago and it has only grown exponentially since then. Did I buy the DVD after only seeing the movie once? You bet your ass I did. Admittedly, it was the all-star casting of Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah, three actresses who I think are fall down funny, that first drew me to the movie. So then to be introduced to the whirlwind of exceptional talent that is Tiffany Haddish for the first time was nothing short of a delightful surprise. Oh sweet Jesus…the introduction to Dina at her office job is so fantastic. It immediately endears you to her and pegs this character as the one to watch. Every time Haddish enters a scene you get excited wondering what act of ridiculous hilarity she’s going to inflict on the audience next. I’ve seen this movie like four times now and every time Haddish pops up I’m like, “ahhh, what’s she going to say next?!” Like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids (2011), Haddish is the definition of a scene stealer in this movie. Her humour is so effortless and so off the cuff that it feels like she’s not even following a script half the time. She completely understands how to get the most out of this character and as a result delivers some of the most hysterically improvised scenes you could ask for. I swear, I think Haddish deserved an Oscar nomination for Girls Trip. I’ve seen Haddish in a handful of movies since Girls Trip put her on the map and unfortunately, I feel like she hasn’t been able to reach the same comedic heights and deliver as winning a performance since. I think Haddish is a powerhouse talent that oozes charisma so I sincerely hope she lands a project as phenomenal as Girls Trip again. While I would love and absolutely turn up for a sequel, I kind of love that there aren’t any plans for one. This movie is lightning in a bottle and to force a sequel would only tarnish the magic of this movie. 

One of the things that makes Girls Trip such a winner is that every single one of the main characters has a chance to shine comedically. Though Haddish may be the undisputed star when it comes to physical comedy and landing zingers, the entire cast have moments that are completely memorable and hilarious. Pinkett Smith is so suave and put together in real life that it is amazing how she exceptionally plays the fussy and dowdy Lisa whose uptightness and subsequent unravelling cracks me up. Hall’s comedic timing is amazing. She’s so quick and so sharp and when she’s called upon to land an emotional moment, it’s shockingly earnest. Her turn as Ryan is incredibly likeable and relatable. And Latifah? Honey. Her name is QUEEN FOR A REASON! Also, shoutout to Kate Walsh as Ryan’s agent. She hams it up as the innocently clueless Liz and you can tell that she’s having the most fun getting to be as wild and wacky as the rest of the cast. Like the best ensemble comedies about groups of friends, this is absolutely a group of friends I would kill to hang out with even for just one night. I mean, bar fights, makeovers, dance-offs and declarations of undying friendship? What more could you possibly ask for out of a friends weekend? Everything about the group being drunk at the club is hilarious and the type of turnt we can all only hope to be. Just, maybe we steer clear of drinking candle wax.

Girls Trip could have very easily just been another generic raunchy comedy and it would have been an adequate movie that we all mildly enjoyed. We all would have loved it in 2017 and that might have been the end of its lifespan. But what makes this movie so rewatchable and beloved is the surprising amount of genuine heart and rumination on female power and friendship that it packs into the two hour runtime. Girls Trip manages to be a hysterical Rated R comedy while also navigating the honest highs and lows of friendship. The story encapsulates what it means to be a true friend through thick and thin. It juggles the comedy and heart extremely well and manages to never get too wrapped up in either one. Both sides of the movie get ample screen time and the transition between the two is handled with perfection.  

If you’re a fan of laugh out loud funny movies like Bridesmaids, Bachelorette (2012) or Rough Night (2017), then it is absolutely imperative that you add Girls Trip to your “Must Watch” list. I can honestly think of nothing more entertaining than a movie night with your best friends that includes a double viewing of Bridesmaids and Girls Trip. And a healthy supply of nachos. And an endless supply of margaritas. Wait, did I just plan my out the entirety of my next weekend?

Are you a fan of Girls Trip?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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