“We haven’t hung in five years. I miss you guys. We need a girls trip. Let’s do this!” - Ryan Pierce Ryan Pierce has managed to achieve both the perfect marriage and the perfect career but what she wants most is to reconnect with her best girlfriends. When presented with a opportunity to attend and speak at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Ryan believes this is perfect opportunity to reunite the Flossy Posse. When Ryan, gossip columnist Sasha, recently-divorced Lisa and spitfire Dina make their way down to New Orleans, neither their friendship nor the Big Easy will ever be the same.
Girls Trip written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Olivier and directed by Malcolm D. Lee debuted on July 21, 2017 and as of August, 6, 2017 has grossed $85.4 million dollars. The film features Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish and reunites Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah as college friends, Ryan, Dina, Lisa and Sasha. While attending the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, the four members of the Flossy Posse are forced to nurse old wounds of the past while confronting the reality of their present in order to preserve their friendship for the future. Last night I purchased my ticket to see Girls Trip and dare I say it was one of the best films I have seen in quite some time.
For those of you who have not seen Girls Trip I demand that
you stop what you’re doing and drive to the nearest movie theater. No
matter your age (never mind; this is definitely not a film for the
kiddies), no matter your color…grab up your girlfriends or your guy
friends and go see this film!
Below I will share my seven thoughts in regards to the movie. I should also point out there will be spoilers. You have been warned…
May I just say that we have four beautiful, extremely talented black women on film together. I don’t know why this excites me so much! Actually…now that I think about it…I do know why this excites me. For too long we have been told that women, especially black women simply are not bankable when it comes to the box office. The majority of our successful shows on television involve black women, i.e. Kerry Washington (Scandal), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Tracee Ellis Ross (Blackish), etc so there is no reason why this should not translate to the big screen. Coming on the heels of the super successful Wonder Woman film and last year’s Hidden Figures, Girls Trip has proven again just how wrong it is to assume that women cannot get butts in the seat at movie theaters because this film is performing very well at box offices across the country. What I hope is that the producers and executives in Hollywood are taking note. We need more films made by women, written by women, directed by women, featuring women made for women. No more excuses!
“If you are going to come along with us
please refrain from saying things like “preach” or “go girl”, or any
other colloquialism that you may have looked up on a urban dictionary.” Well…someone finally said it! At the risk of starting a debate about cultural appropriation, I was so happy to hear this line in the film because while Elizabeth is not being mean-spirited or racist when she uses urban vernacular, what Ryan is pointing out is when white women often use those words, they are often lauded for it because it’s seen as cute and funny. However, oftentimes when black women use those very words, terms like ‘ghetto’ are often bandied about and honestly that is not fair. At the end of the day, these four black women, for better or for worst, are human beings no matter what words they use, how they use those words, how they choose to wear their hair or how their bodies look and that should be celebrated.
Set It Off is one of my favorite films and when Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Sasha (Queen Latifah) exchanged that very knowing look in the club while wearing dark sunglasses and multi-colored wigs, I nearly jumped right out of my seat.
In this post Lemonade world we are living in, I reckon we will see more media starring made by black women made for black women. While this films does an amazing job of celebrating black women, another thing I noticed was how this film explores how black women celebrate black men, even when black men neglect or outright refuse to celebrate them. When Ryan’s husband, Spencer Pierce steps outside of their marriage to engage in an affair with another woman, Ryan bends over backwards to defend his actions to her friends while suppressing her true emotions in regards to his infidelity. Ryan is willing to forsake her own happiness and integrity in order to protect her marriage but Spencer is unwilling to meet her halfway.
Several of my female friends have attended Essence Music Festival but admittedly I did not know much about the goings-on at the festival until seeing this film. Essence Music Festival looks like a blast and I hope this film makes the festival even bigger. I also love the setting of New Orleans because it’s in located in the South yet it’s such a thriving black city. I love that we are seeing so much media being filmed and set in New Orleans because there’s something positively magical about that place.
While all of our actresses are doing amazing work in this film, the MVP Award goes to Tiffany Haddish. My knowledge of who Tiffany Haddish, prior to seeing the film was her interview with Jimmy Kimmel. I found her charming and hilarious and so relatable and I found myself falling instantly in love with her. The character of Dina, if you take her surface level, is an outspoken party girl who is that one friend we have who is always down to get into shenanigans. However, Dina was the one who was really holding these women together. As she mentioned in the film, it is so easy to just see her as the “fun one” but there’s many layers to her and whether we admit it or not, we all need a Dina in our lives. Tiffany Haddish is does comedy well and I hope the industry embraces her because after reading about her troubled history prior to making it big, this beautiful woman definitely deserves her happy ending.
As mentioned above, this film is a celebration of black women. I also found this film to be a celebration of blackness. The main reason I wanted to see this film was because I have grown weary of the limitations within black films. For decades we have seen black female characters in film portrayed as slaves, maids, nannies, prostitutes, abused women, crackheads and the sassy sidekick to countless white female characters. It’s not that those roles aren’t important or something to be ashamed of, it’s just awesome to see a film about four black women who just want to have fun. Sitting in that theater, it felt so good to see these four black female women doing things on-screen we are so accustomed to seeing white men and women do. Our women get messy drunk. They have sex. They go clubbing. They wear impeccable fashions. They have witty banter. And yes, there are arguments and infidelities and betrayal but those things are just another part of who these women are. Black women suffering has been a narrative we have seen way too much of (thank you Tyler Perry) so maybe we have finally reached a time where we can finally see black women happy, even if they don’t have men in their lives.
Hopefully if you have not seen Girls Trip, I hope my thoughts on this amazing film give you cause to purchase a ticket to go see it. This film is important in more ways than I can enumerate. This film filled me with such joy in a time where it’s so easy to feel hopeless. What this film affirmed for me is life is too short for us to let ourselves define ourselves by what others think or us so let’s get out there and live life to the fullest. And what better way to live than with your best girlfriends (or guy friends) there along for the ride!