Girls Trip is a Bridesmaids meets The Hangover comedy romp, a good-time movie we have been wanting for all summer that also marks a refreshing and poignant shift in Hollywood storytelling.

Perhaps it’s the success of Hidden Figures, pulling in $230 million in the box office and three Oscar nominations, along with the successes of Bad Moms and Bridesmaids that finally sent a long overdue wake-up call to film studios that the industry needs to start portraying more diverse stories on screen. Not only women, but empowering stories about older black women, which are rarely seen on-screen. Girls Trip shows us that women can have just as much fun as men and it’s just as entertaining to watch.

In the film, four women who have been friends all their lives reunite to hit New Orleans for Essence Festival. When Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) is asked to be the keynote speaker, she decides to invite her old gang along, and just like that the Flossy Posse reunites. However, the fun of the trip is halted when her friend Sasha (Queen Latifah), who has her own knock off TMZ website receives a picture from one of her paparazzo of Ryan’s husband, Stewart (Mike Colter), cheating on her.

When outspoken Dina (Tiffany Haddish) confronts Ryan, she informs her posse that she already knows about the other woman. Her friends then realize that Ryan’s life isn’t as perfect as she makes it seem in her bestselling novel You Can Have It All. In fact, Ryan has gotten so good at pretending to protect her brand that she has almost lost sight of the fearless woman she used to be. But with her girls, an old flame, and the husband’s girlfriend all in town, it makes for an interesting weekend full of drinking and utter debauchery.

Regina Hall delivers a knock out performance as the lead, but lesser-known Tiffany Haddish steals the show. Moreover, the Set It Off reunion between Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifiah, and the rest of the cast’s chemistry combined with the heavy list of star-studded cameos (including Common, Maxwell, Faith Evans, Ne-Yo, and Estelle, Mariah Carey, Mike Epps, among others) make the film even more of a treat. Kate Walsh also offers comedic relief as Ryan’s white agent who is desperately trying to relate to the group with urban colloquialisms she has picked up throughout the years.

Director Malcom D. Lee clearly knows how to make audiences laugh with hits ranging from Scary Movie 5 to Barbershop. His team also brings a lot to the table as writer Kenya Barris (Black-ish) and producer Will Packer (Ride Along) have created something that will be quoted, re-watched, and likely franchised.

Girls Trip offers a positive message about about sisterhood that can translate to all friendships- of any race or color. In today’s culture of relentless self-promotion, false personas, followers, and likes, Girls Trip reminds us that no matter where we’re going, or who we are pretending to be, we all come from somewhere- which is reality that no one can escape. And with friends like the Flosse Posse, why would anyone want to?

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