A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Girls Trip is a raunchy comedy about four longtime friends (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish) who go on an over-the-top trip together. It's surprisingly sweet and positive, but there's definitely plenty of eyebrow-raising content, including wall-to-wall language, nudity, and randy humor. Women are given powerful, well-rounded roles, with two exceptions: a woman who's sleeping with another character's husband is presented as a one-note "ho," and a white character cluelessly imitates African-American slang despite being told not to. There's some violence: A character hits a coworker with metal objects, punches people in the face, and threatens a man with castration and a broken bottle. There's also an all-out brawl in which faces are smashed repeatedly into bars. Expect tons of jokes about sex and body parts, including a scene in which oral sex is mimed at length. Two men are seen nude in nonsexual contexts, one from the front, and one from the rear. Characters drink nearly constantly and sometimes lose control as a result (literally, in one scene in which women pee on a crowd from above). Language includes "f--k," "bitch," "ass," "p---y," the "N" word, and more. Essence and Coca-Cola clearly put money into this production: their logos are everywhere.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As the title of her bestselling book claims, Ryan (Regina Hall) has it all: an adoring public, money, fame, and an amazing relationship with husband Stewart Pierce (Mike Colter). But behind the perfect facade, there are cracks in the Pierce marriage, and Ryan is missing something: the group of lifelong friends that call themselves the Flossy Posse. When Ryan gets the opportunity to travel to New Orleans for a weekend, she decides a GIRLS TRIP is the way to reconnect. Her crew includes Sasha (Queen Latifah), a TMZ-style celebrity gossip blogger who's on a career slide; Dina (Tiffany Haddish), who's been recently fired from her job and is determined to forget her troubles with a no-holds-barred party; and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), whose divorce and single motherhood have left her exhausted and sad. When the foursome hits the Crescent City, life hits back -- but with loyal friends to help absorb the blows and pick up the pieces, everything's going to work out fine in the end.
Is it any good?
A tired comic premise gets new life thanks to a charming cast with genuine warmth and chemistry, inspired comic set-pieces, and a star-making performance from Haddish. Her Dina is a one-woman torrent of vulgarity who steals scenes wholesale from her more famous costars in the way that Melissa McCarthy did in Bridesmaids and Zach Galifianakis did in The Hangover. She even one-ups Pinkett Smith in a sounds-awful-but-is-actually-funny scene in which the duo is suspended from a zip line and ends up peeing on the crowd below them. But Haddish seals the deal with a moment in which she leads her girlfriends into their hotel's bedroom for a pre-sleep group prayer. "I feel my heart filling up with joy to be with my friends again," she says sincerely.
Strangely, so do we. Because this foursome actually seems like a real-life squad with history, which injects reality and sweetness into the kind of scenes you'd expect from this type of movie: the Flossy Posse in a dance battle with a rival group of friends, an oral-sex tutorial that involves a banana and a grapefruit, a hallucinogenic club trip that ends with Latifah's Sasha making out with a lamp. It's goofy, and it's meant to be. But it's also genuinely funny, where many comedies of this stripe aren't. And beneath the laughs and instantly meme-able lines are deep messages to be gleaned about public image vs. private happiness, work, unabashed sex-positivity, and the value of loyal friends who will call you on your mistakes and celebrate your successes. That Girls Trip makes you want to celebrate along with these four is its own great success.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how drinking, drug use, and over-the-top behavior are depicted in Girls Trip. Is the film condoning or glamorizing any of this? Do characters face realistic consequences for their actions? Why does that matter?
Female friendships are relatively rare in movies. What other movies can you think of that center on groups of female friends? How is Girls Trip similar to and different from movies like Bridesmaids and Rough Night?
How is sex portrayed? Is it loving and meaningful or "just for fun"? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- In theaters: July 21, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: October 17, 2017
- Cast: Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish
- Director: Malcolm D. Lee
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 122 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity, and drug material
- Last updated: January 25, 2021
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