Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: "Girls Trip" is a trip worth(less) taking

Girls Trip Review
What is it about girl trip movies and boy trip movies that are so different?

I have seen several movies about boys taking a trip together, and seems to be some differences between them. If you watch "The Hangover" or "Swingers" or "I Melt With You" or "Very Bad Things"... some of those movies may dip into the same genres, but any two of those couldn't be more different from the other. With girl trip movies, they seem to be all the same. A group of friends get together after awhile, perhaps someone's husband is having an affair, perhaps the two besties of group don't feel close anymore, then they go on a crazy trip (and the crazy trip in a girl's trip movie is quite tame), then they all get upset with each other, then have epiphanies and they all make up in the end. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

Sometimes, formula works. For some parts of "Girls Trip," it goes over somewhat well. There are some good acting beats, and an occasional scene that made me smirk. I didn't laugh, I didn't fully smile, I smirked. But I mean Rotten Tomatoes score of 88% tells me other critics went wild for this. I think that's being VERY generous. No matter what, the movie is just going through the motions of other movies we have already seen.

Tiffany Haddish plays the wild one of the group, a girl named Dina. She's the Melissa McCarthy of "Bridesmaids," she's the Zack Galifinakis from "The Hangover." But the thing is, Haddish is trying so hard being the wild card of the group that she ends up overacting. Instead of being funny or raunchy, she comes off as a teenager who just learned their first curse words, and she comes off more annoying than funny. Regina Hall plays the leader of the group, who has a cheating husband (Mike Colter) whom she still loves. Regina Hall can do funny and dramatic and find the right balance to it. She does good work here. Queen Latifah does good work here as the best friend to Hall who got away. Latifah is always good, and there is not a force on Earth that could stop her from delivering a good performance. Even in bad movies, she's good. Then there's Jada Pinkett-Smith. This is an actress who I am not always supporting. I mean, I can barely sit through "Gotham" because of her (And she's the least of that show's problems) and she's even good here. So there are some good performances here, and they do what they can to make this work.

But "Girls Trip" is just a massive regurgitation of other things we've already seen that I have a hard time sitting through it. You know why "Bridesmaids" was embraced by everyone in the audience? First of all, it was actually funny. Second of all, it kept all the innocence and thoughtfulness of a typical chick flick, girls trip movie, but blended it with some raunchy, delirious comedy. It really worked. I can't imagine why more studios aren't copying that template and just making a typical, plastic "chick flick" every few months. 

There is good performances here, but all "Girls Trip" adds up to is more of the same. Your mileage may very, but the critics are being way to kind toward this for some reason.


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