It would be an understatement to say that Ryan, Sasha, Lisa, and Dina were as close as friends could get. Calling themselves the Flossy Posse, these women were more of a sisterhood. They formed one of those epic groups of friends that everyone remembers.
And then life happens. Friends, although with the best of intentions to stay close, can drift apart when careers, spouses, and even children get in the way.
An all-star cast of Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith give us this group of phenomenal women characters. Hall gives us the hard working Ryan Pierce, a famous self-help figure who encourages people that they can “have it all”. Queen Latifah gives us the confident Sasha Franklin, a popular gossip blogger. The hilarious Haddish brings us Dina, the unemployed, wild and out-spoken friend who is fiercely loyal to those closest to her. Pinkett Smith presents the more conservative role of Lisa Cooper, a nurse and mother of two who is no longer the party girl she used to be.
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Girls Trip is a downright fun, unabashedly debaucherous film. Pinkett Smith called it a “hard R”, which is unsurprising given its extensive alcohol and drug use, sexual content, and profanity; it’s definitely a cross between Bridesmaids and Sex and the City. Is this just a fun, girls-night-out movie that should be taken with a grain of salt? Or are there some messages we can take from?
It’s no secret that people grow up and change, sometimes drastically. And this can put serious strains on a relationship. We see the “growing pains” that these women go through after coming together for an extended period of time after barely seeing each other in the last number of years. It’s intriguing to see how their currently personalities mesh with one another and how they navigate the different structure of their group.
Ryan is married to her sweetheart, Stewart Pierce (Mike Colter). They are in the public eye and portray a perfect marriage, amongst their perfect lives. Secretly, though, Stewart has been regularly cheating on Ryan. When the Flossy Posse confront Ryan with this information, we come to learn that Ryan is well aware of Stewart’s cheating, and that they have been trying to work through it with counseling. Things get worse with Ryan and Stewart’s relationship and, when it seems like the obvious choice, Ryan does not leave Stewart. It moves past a loyal wife doing everything in her power to save her relationship, to something more like staying together to save face and maintain their image in the public eye. It brings up the difficult question of when is enough, enough? How much can one take before making the impossible decision to leave their spouse? We also see Ryan’s closest friends attempt to assist her in this decision. They see from the outside what’s going on and how it’s affecting Ryan. They obviously want the best for her and can’t stand to see Stewart putting her through this. I’m sure it’s an extremely difficult position to be in – trying to tell your friend that she is being stepped on, while simultaneously trying to be respectful of her and let her make the decision that she is comfortable with.
When Ryan eventually decides to leave Stewart, we see her very vulnerable side. Her whole image seems to include Stewart. She needs to reclaim her individuality not only on a personal level, but also on a business level. Business dealings that she had arranged together with Stewart now needed to be changed to include only her.
One scene that still has me thinking is the scene where, before the partying began, they all knelt down in front of the bed in the hotel room to pray. Dina began to pray. You’ll recall that Dina is the joker of the group and I was fully expecting this prayer scene to immediately turn into comedy. But she genuinely prays to God about her thankfulness for her friends and the time they are spending together.
It’s weird to say, but I’m proud of this movie. It portrays four very different but strong women who are navigating different paths in life. We see some of them at their finest, and some of them at their darkest. We see that it’s okay to be down and vulnerable. It doesn’t make us any less of a human being. It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to lean on others for help. This film, to me, seems like another step in the right direction for female empowerment on screen.
One thing that I’m taking from this movie is how important the people around us are. Having a support system in life is just so incredibly important. And we shouldn’t take these people for granted.