GIRLS TRIP (R16, 122 MINS), DIRECTED BY MALCOLM D LEE,
You know the story: Four old school friends reunite for a weekend away.
Ryan, Sasha, Dina and Lisa were once the closest of friends; a girl gang of party crashing hellraisers and heartbreakers. But, they’ve drifted apart as the demands of marriages, children and careers spun them off into different orbits.
Super-successful Ryan has a speaking gig at the Essence music festival.
She is invited to bring an entourage for a weekend of great hip-hop and R’n’B. Ryan rounds up the rest of the ‘‘Flossy Posse’’ and the four women, now all staring down middle-age, hit New Orleans like a hurricane.
Girls Trip is The Hangover, Bridesmaids and a dozen lesser films right down to its chassis. It is also, hands down, the funniest, filthiest and one of the most likeable films of 2017.
Girls Trip is a flat-out and hellaciously funny assault on a whole truck load of assumptions about gender and race, wearing the guise of very good buddy movie.
As the group – played by Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Tiffany Haddish – drink, swear, party, brawl and trip over a few life lessons, they also chuck back in our face any preconceptions we might have had about crossover black cinema needing to be po-faced or overtly issuebased.
Girls Trip holds up a wellraised and well-overdue middle finger to every white comedian to be, relentlessly filthy and gleefully puerile at times. But it is also something more. There is a point being made here about the reclamation and normalisation of black voices and women’s voices within a genre that has been the preserve of the ‘‘dudes’’ for far too long.
I said about Bridesmaids that it was more than just a wildly successful film, it was a modestly triumphant one. The same applies to Girls Trip I reckon, but even more so. – Graeme Tuckett