GIRLS TRIP (R16, 122 MINS), DI­RECTED BY MAL­COLM D LEE,

The Leader (Nelson) - - WHAT’S ON -

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 Pin­ket­tSmith 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 cross-over black cinema need­ing to be po-faced or overtly is­sue-based.

Girls Trip holds up a well­raised and well-over­due mid­dle fin­ger to ev­ery white comedian and per­former who has im­i­tated and ap­pro­pri­ated the tropes and lan­guage of black Amer­i­can cul­ture. And it re­minds us, force­fully and hi­lar­i­ously, that great com­edy nearly al­ways comes from a place of great anger and in­se­cu­rity.

New­comer Tif­fany Had­dish in par­tic­u­lar strips the paint off the walls in a cou­ple of scenes. Up against her far bet­ter-known and more-es­tab­lished co-stars, Had­dish threat­ens to run off with ev­ery scene she’s in. In a film full of near­house­hold names, it’s the new­bie who slays the old guard, again.

Girls Trip is ev­ery­thing you want out of an R16 buddy-re­union movie. It is truly funny, touch­ing when it needs 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

Girls Trip is The Hang­over, Brides­maids and a dozen lesser films right down to its chas­sis. It’s also an as­sault on a truck load of as­sump­tions about gen­der and race. New­comer Tif­fany Had­dish in par­tic­u­lar strips the paint off the walls in a cou­ple of scenes.

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