'Girls Trip' a won­der­fully hi­lar­i­ous des­ti­na­tion

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Get ready to know the name Tif­fany Had­dish. If there were such a thing as Com­edy Os­cars, she would win for "Girls Trip ." Like Melissa McCarthy in "Brides­maids," Had­dish steals this film from her big-name costars: Queen Lat­i­fah, Regina Hall and Jada Pin­kett Smith. All four ac­tresses have shin­ing mo­ments of com­edy and heart in di­rec­tor Mal­colm D. Lee's ode to fe­male friend­ships, thanks to the win­ning script by Kenya Bar­ris ("black-ish") and Tracy Oliver ("Bar­ber­shop: The Next Cut"), but Had­dish emerges as the most mem­o­rable. She has a scene with a grape­fruit that will go down in the an­nals of hi­lar­i­ous movie mo­ments.

The "Girls Trip" here is to the Essence Fes­ti­val in New Or­leans. A group of friends who called them­selves the Flossy Posse back in col­lege in the '90s travel there for a long-awaited re­union af­ter one of their mem­bers, self-help guru Ryan (Hall), is in­vited to give the fes­ti­val's key­note speech. She's joined by her long­time besties: Jour­nal­ist Sasha (Lat­i­fah), who runs a celebrity-gos­sip web­site; Lisa (Pin­kett Smith), an up­tight, di­vorced nurse with two young chil­dren, and brash, out­spo­ken Dina (Had­dish), who hasn't stopped par­ty­ing since grad­u­a­tion.

Ryan and her re­tired foot­ball star hus­band Ste­wart (Mike Coul­ter) have billed them­selves as the cou­ple that has it all, and they have a lot rid­ing on her Essence ap­pear­ance: They're poised to sign a ma­jor cor­po­rate con­tract at the fes­ti­val that would bring them Oprah-level suc­cess. Their agent (Kate Walsh), who in­sists on awk­wardly us­ing street slang, warns Ryan against get­ting too "turned" over her girls' week­end, lest she jeop­ar­dize the deal. The posse's trou­ble be­gins when Sasha re­ceives a pa­parazzi pic­ture of Ste­wart in a com­pro­mis­ing po­si­tion. Could it be the per­fect cou­ple isn't so per­fect af­ter all? What about their lu­cra­tive con­tract?

The women in "Girls Trip" are so dis­tinct and well-drawn, they're uni­ver­sally re­lat­able. Ev­ery­one has a wild friend they wish was like Dina or one as tightly wound as Lisa. Many of us know peo­ple so driven they might com­pro­mise their per­sonal stan­dards to achieve more pub­lic goals. If only we were all as glamorous as Sasha, who con­sis­tently rocks in­cred­i­ble hair­dos, as com­posed as Ryan or as ri­otous as Dina, who's like Id per­son­i­fied. Her enu­mer­a­tion of what she plans to do to Ste­wart in re­venge for his scan­dalous photo is an­other scene-steal­ing mo­ment. Her plans are so graphic, they can't be printed here. The Flossy Posse is #friend­ship­goals. Noth­ing is gra­tu­itous

"Girls Trip" def­i­nitely earns its R rat­ing. There's crude lan­guage, overt sex­ual jokes, drug ref­er­ences, pub­lic uri­na­tion, bar fights and full-frontal male nu­dity. And, girl, is it funny. Noth­ing is gra­tu­itous. The story is both out­ra­geous and re­al­is­tic, grounded by the women's friend­ship. Be­cause the film was ac­tu­ally shot dur­ing the Essence Fes­ti­val, there are count­less cameos. Look for Mariah Carey, Maxwell, Ava Du­Ver­nay, Terry McMil­lan, Iyanla Van­zant, Mor­ris Ch­est­nut, Faith Evans, Com­mon, Diddy, Ne-Yo, Doug E Fresh and many others.

This film de­liv­ers for all adult au­di­ences. Re­gard­less of your race or gen­der, you'll be laugh­ing all the way home. The mem­bers of the Flossy Posse are fully re­al­ized peo­ple: ac­com­plished peo­ple try­ing to have fun and find them­selves as they nav­i­gate their grownup lives. They just do it with more out­ra­geous swag­ger than most.

I can't wait to see this film again (and again), and to watch Had­dish in what­ever she does next. "Girls Trip," a Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures re­lease, is rated R by the Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica for "for crude and sex­ual con­tent through­out, per­va­sive lan­guage, brief graphic nu­dity, and drug ma­te­rial." Run­ning time: 122 min­utes. Three and a half stars out of four. MPAA def­i­ni­tion of R: Re­stricted. Un­der 17 re­quires ac­com­pa­ny­ing par­ent or adult guardian. — 'Des­pac­ito' de­clared most streamed song ever'Des­pac­ito' de­clared most streamed song ever'Des­pac­ito' de­clared most streamed song ever'Des­pac­ito' de­clared most streamed song ever — AP

— AP

This im­age re­leased by Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures shows, from left, Tif­fany Had­dish, Regina Hall, Queen Lat­i­fah and Jada Pin­kett Smith in a scene from the com­edy "Girls Trip."

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