"Everything Goes Down in the Bayou"
What You Need To Know:
The production values and performances in GIRLS TRIP are top notch. GIRLS TRIP also has some funny scenes. Sadly, however, much of the comedy is generated by immoral circumstances that can’t be condoned. Although the objectionable content is mitigated by brief Christian, moral elements, including a Christian prayer scene, it’s too crude and too over-the-top. GIRLS TRIP also has abundant foul language and plenty of substance abuse. So, despite some positive content, MOVIEGUIDE® advises media-wise viewers to consider skipping this GIRLS TRIP.
(PaPaPa, C, B, LLL, V, SS, NNN, AA, DD, MM) Very strong, slightly mixed pagan worldview with a brief scene where the main characters are shown kneeling in prayer and other brief positive elements but with repeated vengeful violence in the way of threats with broken bottles, brawls and fistfights; at least 103 obscenities and eight profanities as well as toilet humor including urinating over pedestrians while hanging from a zip line, plus use of the “n” word; violence includes the aforementioned threats with broken bottles, brawls and fistfights; strong sexual content and references includes sexual innuendo and implied fornication with moans heard off screen, characters openly and actively seek to engage in casual sex, and multiple referrals to genitals and sexual acts; full frontal male nudity is shown on two separate occasions, and one includes two grapefruits ringing male genitals, plus female cleavage, and one scene showing a female’s breasts, but the nipples are covered with little stars; extensive drinking to excess of alcoholic beverages in multiple scenes; no smoking, but one character suggests hiding drugs in a body orifice, consumption of marijuana, and a psychedelic substance contained in a liquid that is purchased from a street vendor; and, strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying, infidelity and distrust among friends, moral relativism where at one point when one of the main characters is willing to sacrifice conviction and self-respect for the sake of financial gain in the form of a large monetary payout, and racial comments are made by various characters using the “n” word or categorizing certain actions as particular to one race or another.
In GIRLS TRIP, an accomplished black author invites her three college buddies to reunite and come with her to an ethnic festival in New Orleans, where she’s been offered to deliver the keynote speech on the subject of “Having It All.” Though well-made and acted, with some brief positive content, GIRLS TRIP is mostly a hedonistic, raunchy pagan comedy. Most of the humor is derived from sexual, alcohol or drug-related situations, with abundant foul language, lying and brief excessive nudity.
The movie’s basic story is simple.
Several years after graduation, four college buddies are invited by one of them to come together for an upcoming ethnic festival to be held in New Orleans. The four were the best of friends in college, where they called themselves the “Flossy Posse.” They were proud of the name because “whatever anybody did, they did better” (or raunchier). The leader of the female posse is Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), an accomplished author married to Stewart (Mike Colter), a muscle-bulging famous former football star, and a heartthrob for millions of adoring females. The title of Ryan’s bestseller is “I Can Have It All,” and she seems to prove it every day by her lifestyle and seemingly loving marriage to Stewart. Consequently, she’s been invited to give the keynote speech at the Essence Fest in New Orleans where, unknown to her at the time, she and Stewart will be offered a new presumably lucrative multimillion contract.
A tinge of nostalgia hits Ryan as she accepts the invitation and decides it would be a good idea to reunite the Posse for the event and bring them down with her for the occasion. Her long-neglected friends include Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), a now-divorced single mother with children; Sasha (Queen Latifah), who had once started with Ryan as a partner but was left behind when Ryan’s career took off; and, Dina (Tiffany Haddish) for whom to call her bubbly would be a gross understatement because she’s actually an oversexed and compulsive overwrought type.
Ryan’s three friends readily accept her invitation. So, they all fly out to New Orleans and promptly proceed to turn the Big Easy upside down, if that can be possible. Along the way, viewers are treated to a couple big concert music scenes, an electrifying high wattage dance scene, and numerous instances of over-the-top sexual innuendo, with lots of foul language, double entendres, heavy drinking, fisticuffs, a flash performance by Mariah Carey, and a scene when the four heroines come under the influence of a psychedelic drug and start displaying their intoxication in various funny ways. The over the top raunchiness includes a scene where Lisa, and then not to be undone, Sasha, hang from a zip line and graphically urinate on the people below. An even bigger raunchy scene occurs when a very well-endowed male is shown running around naked with two hollowed out grapefruits ringing his genitals. In the middle of all the debauchery, Sasha gathers together with the other three to kneel around the bed in the hotel and pray to Jesus. Figure that one out.
The story takes serious turn when the possibility that all is not so well between Ryan and Stewart emerges in the form of a photo of Stewart in a compromising embrace with Simone (Deborah Ayorinde), an Instagram model. This earth-shattering development threatens the entire idea of the “having it all” marketing strategy the popular couple had built around themselves for years, not to mention their big money contract, which now has the potential to disappear in the blink of an eye.
The question becomes how will the characters handle this change of events and try to resolve it while dealing with some serious moral and philosophical considerations? How will Ryan deal with the possibility of her husband’s infidelity? How will that affect her relationship to the Flossy Posse as her lifetime friends. What will happen to the mouth-watering contract that seems so close yet so far away? A bigger question, of course, is whether finding out the answers to these questions is worth going through this raunchy comedy, to get to the ending’s moral and emotional payoff?
The comedy formula in GIRLS TRIP is pretty basic: Bring together a small group of feisty females with lots of spunk, a la SEX IN THE CITY, and send them on a WILD trip together. Add some male nudity, sex (innuendo and otherwise), lots of booze, drugs, pot, psychedelics, obscenity, mild violence, and let it rip.
GIRLS TRIP has some very funny scenes, but, regrettably, many of them are generated by immoral circumstances that can’t be condoned. That said, the production values are impeccable with very good performances by the supporting cast, including by Kate Walsh as Ryan’s agent, Elizabeth, by Lara Grice as Bethany, the executive putting together the contract, by the movie’s other male heartthrobs Larenz Tate and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who plays himself, and, to a lesser degree, by Deborah Ayorinde, the femme fatale who unravels the married couple’s “You Can Have It All” construct. Also interesting to note is that the couple’s agent, as well as all the powerful executives signing them to the contract are all white, but whether this is a reflection of true life, or some indirect message by the writers, is another question to ponder. Eventually, the moral and emotional dilemma that Ryan faces in her relationship with her husband, Stewart, as well as the type of relationship that good friends should have with each other, are relevant issues explored in GIRLS TRIP. These issues do have a kind of redemptive power, but, sadly, they aren’t enough to recommend GIRLS TRIP to media-wise viewers.
Ultimately, GIRLS TRIP really comes down to an ethnic version of SEX IN THE CITY, capitalizing on the successful series while making a raunchier and more over the top presentation than any SEX IN THE CITY episode or movie has ever done.