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: just old enough to understand losing your shit at an Essence Awards concert featuring New Edition, 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 Dina (played fearlessly by the overwhelmingly charming Tiffany Haddish) 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.