tracy d smith

Girls Trip. 2017′s best comedy so far.

Comedies in 2017 have been severely lacking. Most have been too long with a seemingly aimless direction letting the actors improvise. All comedies need a good script. Thankfully, Girls Trip recognizes this by having a script that plays to the four leading ladies’ strengths. Where Rough Night failed, this succeeds with jokes that land and some of the raunchiest gags you’ll more than likely see all year.

After drifting apart four life long friends reconnect. Sasha (Queen Latifah), Ryan (Regina Hall), Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) make up the “Flosse Posse” and the girls head down to Essence Fest in New Orleans. While reconnecting the girls face some buried animosity as well as various problems they’ve been ignoring as well as putting their needs on hold.

I’m going to keep this review short as this movie is as straightforward as possible. If you’ve seen movies, you can see where everything is headed by the time the girls meet up at the airport. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing either as the film manages to keep the laughs coming causing such an uproar during my screening that I had missed a lot of follow up jokes as well as dialogue. The film works well with familiar jokes is because of its four leading ladies are likable and relatable enough to balance out the ranch, heart, and humor.

The stand out here is Tiffany Haddish, a comedian I was familiar with before this film. I’m glad she finally gets what could possibly be her breakout role as she sets up and pays off a lot of the jokes in the film much to Jada’s expense as the movie mostly pairs the two together. With Sasha and Ryan, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall do the heavy lifting with their dramatic roles in this film. Considering more so that Regina has to sell Ryan as a conflicted businesswoman who is only sticking it out with her husband Stuart (Mike Colter), who is cheating on her. Yet, there is a lucrative deal on the line that makes her stay. Writers Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver make Ryan’s struggle to believe in herself and do right by not only herself but by Sasha as well is great. As well as the ladies trying to bring back Lisa’s wild side after she still hasn’t gotten over her divorce.

The women are surrounded by strong supporting men here as well. Mike Colter who kills it as Luke Cage in Marvel Netflix show of the same name does an excellent job here playing the complete opposite of Cage. Lorenz Tate does well as a noble bassist Julian who the girls know from their earlier days, as well as being the primary love interest for Ryan. And Kofi Siriboe as Malik had the women in my screening swooning hard every time he appeared onscreen. And Kate Walsh’s Elizabeth is what is wrong with white people trying to “relate” or be “hip” to black people and black culture.

It’s rare that we get a film that treats four black women this strongly. I’d be hard pressed to say that this is not worth your time especially since these women are rediscovering the bonds of sisterhood. It might be cliched but Girls Trip is funny and entertaining with characters that are well rounded. I wouldn’t be surprised or mad if this spawns a franchise.

“Song of Goldmoon” by Tracy Hickman, Carl Smith, and Michael Williams, from AD&D Dragonlance module DL1: Dragons of Despair, TSR, 1984.  One corner of this page appears in episode 5 of Stranger Things, sticking out of Mike’s binder of rules as Dustin flips through it.  (Hear it performed here)


On the Bus

A short film directed by Tracy D Smith, written by Aaron Chan, starring Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman and Giles Panton.