Rated: R
Release Date: 07/21/2017
Production Company: Universal Pictures

Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, Larenz Tate and Mike Colter.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee. Producer: William Packer. Executive Producer: James Lopez. Screenwriters: Kenya Barris, Karen McCullah, Tracy Oliver and Erica Rivinoja. Cinematographer: Greg Gardiner.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man” and “The Best Man Holiday”) strikes again with his latest comedy, “Girls Trip.”

The big ensemble, wildly entertaining and funny R rated movie is all about girls wanting to have fun with a side of female empowerment of course.

In “Girls Trip” four best friends from college--who once called themselves the “Flossy Posse”-- reunite after five years for a weekend of “Wildin’ Out” out at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.

The trip is a perfect opportunity for these young women to celebrate “sistahood” along with thousands of other African-Americans from various social and economic backgrounds.

Despite hitting a few rough patches, all four women have done pretty well with their careers. Sasha Franklin (Queen Latifah, TV’s “Star”) graduated with a journalism degree and works as a celebrity gossip blogger. It pays the bills, but really only when she can get the real, juicy scandalous stuff on famous athletes or entertainers.

Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith, “Bad Moms” and TV’s “Gotham”) is a recently divorced mother of two who gave up her partying ways to settle down. She’s hurt that her marriage fell apart.

However, Dina (a scene-stealing Tiffany Haddish, TV’s “The Carmichael Show”) hasn’t changed one bit. She’s still the little, hot firecracker that loves to get her drink and party on. She’s also loyal to her best friends.

Ryan Prince (Regina Hall, “When the bough Breaks”) is the most successful one of all. She’s been invited to the Essence Festival as the keynote speaker.

She’s written self-empowering books with titles like “You can Have it All.” And on the surface, it appears as if Ryan does.

She’s married to a handsome, former pro football star named Stewart (Mike Colter, TV’s “Luke Cage” and upcoming “The Defenders”), who is always at her side except when he slips off for a tryst with an Instagram model.

Ryan knows about his flings, but she is also on the verge of having her agent Elizabeth Davelli (Kate Walsh, TV’s “13 Reasons Why”) land them a lucrative merchandising deal. So from a business standpoint, Ryan believes it’s cheaper to keep him. But over time, she begins to tire of the entire charade.

When she runs into and hangs out with a kind-hearted, musician friend, Julien Stevens (a fabulous Larenz Tate, TV’s “Power”) who is single, but looking to find the right woman, it reminds Ryan of what a catch he would have been.

Director Malcolm D. Lee gets the best out of this wonderful cast. There’s a fiery and genuine chemistry between Latifah, Haddish, Hall and Pinkett Smith.

Each shine and bring their own ample dose of physical comedy to “Girls Trip” without trying to one up each other.

A “wet” and wild zip lining stunt over Bourbon Street that the women take part in is a real doozy, as is an old man showing off his package to the women.

And thanks to Haddish, you may never look at a banana and grapefruit the same way ever again or Kofi Siriboe, the chocolate hunk who stars as Ralph Angel on TV’s “Queen Sugar.” Here, he plays Malik and helps Lisa (Pinkett Smith) get her groove back in a really “big” way.

In addition to the comedy, “Girls Trip” treats audiences to a few musical performances by artists such as New Edition, Common, Maxwell, Ne-Yo and Sean Combs among others.

But make no mistake, “Girls Trip” is all about a raunchy good time and it delivers big time. It’s a trip.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Check Out This Trailer For "GIRLS TRIP"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Halls Of Anger Title: Halls Of Anger
Year Released: 1970
Running Time: 96
Production Company: Mirisch Corporation
Director: Paul Bogart
Director of Photography: Burnett Guffey
Screenwriter: John Herman Shaner and Al Ramus
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Editor's Note: While this "Old School Video Pick" of "Halls of Anger" has run before, I couldn't help but update a few things in it after recently watching it again along with a few other Calvin Lockhart movies, like "Melinda" and "Rain." Lockhart was an enormously talented actor who left us way too soon.

Audiences may best remember Calvin Lockhart, as the tall, dark and handsome actor who...
What racially/controversial Broadway play did Calvin Lockhart star in with Angela Lansbury?