Review: Girls Trip (2017)

I feel completely unqualified to review this in any way at all.

I came of age with late ’90s / early ’00s Taye Diggs / Omar Epps / Nia Long coming-of-age romantic comedies showing regularly on our local cable TV in Australia. I’m at the younger end of the age group of the characters in the story – old enough to understand losing yr shit at a concert whose lineup boasts Diddy and Maxwell, enough to feel the rib nudge when Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith nod at the line “We about to set it off”, enough that, when the central conflict is played out in a dance-off between divorced mothers and instagram thirst traps, I side with the seniors.

But I do not, and likely never will, understand all the places this movie goes. I suspect that, were I watching “Girls Trip” in a theatre filled with this film’s target audience, I’d be surrounded by people who were feeling everything being offered up here – and that may help me to appreciate it, or certain moments in it, more than I do. I feel like there are important ideas being offered up in “Girls Trip” that affirm and promote certain notions of self-respect, friendship, relationships and entrepreneurship that are particular to the African American female experience – both the ideas themselves and the way in which they’re presented. I feel like what the movie has to say with and about Tiffany Haddish’s character Dina in particular is important – wild, God-fearing and, as Jada Pinkett Smith’s Lisa describes her, the most loyal friend one could ever have. For all her over-the-top shenanigans, when Tiffany tells her friends she’d die for them, they – and you – do not doubt her.

I get that this movie is not for me – and yet I also felt it didn’t exclude me. Perhaps that’s important, and perhaps not. It might be worth a revisit.