Ugh, I can feel my blood pressure spiking. Yup, another raunchy and unfunny comedy. Shoot me now. And didn’t we get this movie just a month or two ago? ROUGH NIGHT (2017)? Well, if it’s possible to get two Dunkirk movies in a year, it’s remorsefully not beyond the realms of possibility to get two “girls trip” movies either.
Screw it, here’s the surprisingly respectable cast. Jada Pinkett Smith (BAD MOMS , REIGN OVER ME , and THE MATRIX RELOADED ), Regina Hall (WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS , THINK LIKE A MAN , and SCARY MOVIE ), Queen Latifa (ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE , MAD MONEY , and BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE ), and Tiffany Haddish (KEANU ). In support, we have Mike Colter (TV shows LUKE CAGE, JESSICA JONES, RINGER, and upcoming TV show THE DEFENDERS).
Now for the crew. Directing is Malcolm D. Lee, known for BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (2016), SOUL MEN (2008), and UNDERCOVER BROTHER (2002). Co-writing the script are Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, both known for BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT. Composing the score is… oh god, why?? David Newman?! Excuse me while I let out a little cry. He’s known for SERENITY (2005), GALAXY QUEST (1999), and THE MIGHTY DUCKS (1992). Finally, the cinematographer is Greg Gardiner, known for BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT, MY FAKE FIANCÉ (2009), and MEN IN BLACK 2 (2002).
Overall, no… just… just no.
This is my honest opinion of: GIRLS TRIP
A group of four friends make an attempt to reconnect after spending years apart by taking a trip to New Orleans to party.
*Sigh* Sadly, it’s nearly impossible for me to talk about this movie without comparing it to ROUGH NIGHT. Why? Because they’re almost the same movie. The only real difference is that one deals in a murder plot, the other deals in adultery.
Both movies start off with a flashback to when they were all in college and a group of four infamous fun-loving women. But then they grow up, develop their lives, and eventually drift apart. No, literally, they both start off this way, but give ROUGH NIGHT some credit, it didn’t need to narrate that passage of time. GIRLS TRIP thinks its R-rated audience is full of children and therefore need everything explained to them, despite everything playing out clear as day for all to see. You know, I didn’t used to have a problem with narration, but the more I see how abused it can get, it’s become a serious pet peeve. And of course, the plot is that they go on a weekend getaway reconnect.
Prior to the trip itself, GIRLS TRIP has one leg up over ROUGH NIGHT. The character establishing is a little funnier, as our first character intro is arguably the funniest character in this movie, as well as its reason why I do not like it: Dina (Tiffany Haddish). She’s the raunchiest woman in the movie, bar-none, and at first there’s some serious promise. We’ve already got a better character connection than ROUGH NIGHT established, and Dina… here’s her intro scene: she’s in her boss’ office to talk about her violent reaction to a co-worker who ate her Go-Gurt. She’s being fired, but she refuses to accept that and says that she’s going on her trip to New Orleans and wants time off.
That’s another thing about this movie. Unlike ROUGH NIGHT, this movie does have good jokes in it. Smith plays an overbearing mother who probably loves being a mother too much and when she’s on her way out the door, she’s hugging her kids and milking the goodbye, and then Dina remarks, “They’re hugging you like you’re going to war.” That’s funny! I laughed! No, shit, right? But modern comedies don’t often do that for me and it’s annoying as hell to see comedy go for the bottom-of-the-barrel humor that never plays out well. There’s another bit when we find out that Stewart (Mike Coulter), Ryan’s (Regina Hall) husband, has been cheating on her. A part of their trip is Ryan promoting her book, which she’s promoting with Stewart, and they’re meeting him in New Orleans. The other women find out about the affair early on and when Dina sees Stewart at the hotel, her reaction is beyond priceless. She has arguably the most venomous glare that even the most spiteful goth girl could never equal. She marches her way to the man, grabs a damn win bottle, smashes it, and threatens Stewart with it. I can’t possibly tell you how loudly my auditorium was laughing at this bit. It was fantastic. This movie had real comedy. Something that seemed unbelievably hard for ROUGH NIGHT to accomplish. The best that its comedy could offer was a couple of reactions. Oh, they didn’t make me laugh out loud or anything, they just woke me up from boredom.
Unfortunately, this movie has an Achilles heel. As much as you’ve seen me rave about the good jokes, the ones that I’ve mentioned we the only good ones in the entire movie. For every good joke, there’s twenty horrible ones inbetween. Far too many blowjob jokes, and one gets needlessly graphic, drunk humor that was hit or miss, seeing an old pervy man’s dick, and of course, the infamous peeing scene.
You know exactly what scene I’m talking about if you’ve seen the trailers. Lisa (Smith) is desperate to find a bathroom, but she’s on a zip-line on her way to another building where the line to the bathroom is shorter, but for contrived reasons, the zip isn’t far enough and she ends up peeing on the crowd of people under her. It’s about as graphic as you’d expect. But that’s not the end of it. Dina leaps to the rescue to push Lisa to the other building and happily opens her legs and pees as well on the people below her. This… is where the movie is utterly ruined for me. I suppose it would have been one thing if it was Lisa that did the peeing and wasn’t as graphic, but no. If there’s any form of humor that immediately turns me off, it’s anything involving bodily waste. Scat, urine, and vomit are all comedic no-nos for me, no matter the context. I don’t need to see that under any circumstances. It leaves a sickening proverbial taste in my mouth that never truly washes out, no matter how good the rest of the film was.
And the rest of the film, once again, has good stuff in it. There’s a really well-written speech about not being afraid to be along and what not, but any time this movie tries to have a heart or an emotional center, it doesn’t work because it’s the same movie that delivered two fucking golden showers. So, when stacking it against ROUGH NIGHT, which do I think is better? They’re unfortunately equal. ROUGH NIGHT is consistently unfunny and never makes me laugh, I give it credit that it’s unfunny humor never truly made me feel sick. GIRLS TRIP is a technically better written flick, but it also delivers the worst of the worst type of humor that makes me incredibly angry.
I know the makers behind this were trying to make a comedy equivalent to such great films like MOONLIGHT (2016) and HIDDEN FIGURES (2016), but I’ve never known a raunchy comedy to ever achieve such heights of cinematic glory. These movies tried to say something. They had a combination of artistic writing, directing, and acting. The very premise of this comedy is exactly like every other road trip raunchy comedy. They’ve been around for decades. Maybe this isn’t supposed to be that movie where I think about it too much, but this is how I feel, despite the near overwhelmingly positive reception it’s been getting from critics. I can’t agree.
Overall, no, I don’t recommend this movie, but because of the warm reception, my opinion will likely fall upon deaf ears. So… I guess I’ll just stop there. I don’t like it. At all.
My honest rating for GIRLS TRIP: 2/5