Have you ever taken an extra close look at your best girlfriends and found them hilarious, compelling and maybe even just a tiny bit horrifying?
Well, watching the female led ensemble comedy Girls Trip will give you all those feelings and more. It’s the kind of movie where, if you’re not shrieking with laughter you’re covering your eyes with your hands in embarrassment. Or sometimes just shaking your head in disappointment.
The voice over heavy opening sequence introduces the audience to the “Flossy Posse”, a group of best friends from college who are thicker than thieves and love each other harder than Bert loves Ernie.
Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), is a wildly successful self-help author married to a dashing retired NFL player with her own talk show and product line in the works. Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) is juggling her career as a doctor with her new responsibilities as a single mum.
Sasha (Queen Latifah), is a serious journalist turned gossip blogger whose website is about to shut down, and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is well….lets just say she assaults somebody and gets fired from her job in the opening moments of the film and then shakes it off with a laugh and proceeds to party hard for the rest of the movie.
Watch the video playing above to see Jada Pinkett Smith talk to Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik about losing herself in motherhood and which of her celebrity friends she would take on a girls trip.
The women have all lost touch a bit over the years (a sad fact of life that befalls even the closest of friends) but have all come together for a girls trip to New Orleans where Ryan is the keynote speaker at the Essence Festival.
From the outset, it seems like just another ‘wild weekend’ style comedy, a format popularized by The Hangover and most recently emulated in Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson, but there’s a lot more to this movie than just slotting female stars into traditionally male roles.
First off, the chemistry between this cast of leading ladies is off the charts good. Perhaps it’s because some of them have been tight for years before they even stepped onto a film set together (Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah have been best buds for more than 30 years) or the fact they spent a whole lot of down time together in Louisiana while filming, just bonding and taking in the occasional swamp tour.
Whatever the case, the friendship between these ladies emanates off the screen. They capture perfectly that intense relationship that exists within every close-knit group of girlfriends. After all, no one can make you feel more loved, or hurt you more to your core, like the women in your life who know you better than you know yourself.
And despite the fact much of their weekend takes place in a haze of drunken antics and sexual escapades, there is still a whole lot of room for character development.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s Lisa goes through the most dramatic metamorphosis of all, going from a woman who is practically crumbling in the wake of her divorce and doesn’t see a place in the world for herself that’s not right beside her children to regaining her confidence, sexuality and sense of self.
But it’s not all weepy phones calls and high-necked nana dresses for her as the plot unfolds. In fact, one of the more outrageous moments in the movie comes when Lisa brings a gentleman caller back to the hotel room and, taking sex advice from Dina, attempts to work two grapefruits into the pair’s oral sex routine.
Needless to say, that does not end well and the fact Lisa is a doctor comes in very handy at the end of it all.
When I sat down to chat with Jada Pinkett Smith while she was in the Sydney for the Girls Trip premiere, she said she related to Lisa the most, saying that she too felt like she had lost herself in motherhood.
“A lot of mothers, since they have had kids, have lost themselves in a certain manner and they can relate to this movie," she said. "I also think people who have been in marriages have lost themselves, to an extent. We can all relate to the many pitfalls of losing ourselves and that’s why we can journey with these women.
“I talk to mothers a lot about finding that place for rejuvenation. Because being a mother is giving so much of yourself that you have to find that space where you can take care of yourself. Because if you don’t replenish it. It gets crazy and it gets twisted. There’s a lot of resentment and a lot of anger."
"We as mother’s get the message that we don’t have the right to be happy and we don’t have the right to have lives outside of our family and that’s just not true and it’s just not healthy."
At times, Girls Trip is a sweet, almost gooey tribute to female friendship and empowerment. Other times, it's a bat-shit crazy ride with antics that had every single person in my cinema practically screaming at the screen.
There's the aforementioned grapefruit sex debacle, then there's a scene where Dina accidentally drugs the entire group and they all start vividly hallucinating in the middle of a night club. But all of that seems like just a warm up to the moment when the movie hits peak hysteria. I won't spoil it for you, I'm not even sure there are quite the words in me to accurately describe it. But lets just say it features a street party, a flying fox and urine. A whole lotta urine.
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They say the mark of creating a good product is that every time a consumer touches it, they are spurned into action. Just like how a well put together magazine will entice a reader to go out and buy three things, Girls Trip is a movie that ticks that box and then takes the sentiment one step further.
As soon as I walked out of that cinema I was hit with an overwhelming longing to speak to my closest girlfriends, women I don't get to see as often as I'd like, but whose company in that moment I completely craved. And I wasn't the only one to react that way; every woman I know who has seen the movie has felt the same.
Aside from being hilarious, Girls Trip has gifted the world with a whole lot more catch up phone calls, rekindled friendships and girls' weekends that will hopefully be slightly less eventful than what we see on screen. And lets not forget that new grapefruit inspired sex act. Just a warning though, you might want to down a few cocktails before you try that one.
Girls Trip is playing in cinemas across Australia right now, it is rated MA15+.
You can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor and host of The Binge podcast Laura Brodnik on Facebook.