GIRLS TRIP

 

Every woman has a group of women in their lives that know you almost better than you know yourself, feel like family and home.  They are the ones who see you for who you truly are.  Not who people want you to be or who people think you are...but the essence of who you are at the core.   They know your heart.

For me, that group of women was the Sister Circle.  Our monthly pot luck dinner and drinks discussing everything from our work to men to politics are legendary to say the least. These women were my anchor and there whenever I needed them.

Of course, now that some have started families, moved away and have very demanding careers we don't see each other that often.  But, when we do, it's like we saw each other yesterday.  We all just pick up where we left off.

Dina, Sasha, Lisa and Ryan were college friends otherwise know as the Flossy Posse.  Like my Sister Circle with our monthly pot lucks, the Flossy Posse would meet at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.  Now after a five-year absence, the Flossy Posse reunites one more time in New Orleans and the shenanigans that ensue are hilariously plentiful.

Girls Trip had me laughing so hard that I could hardly catch my breath.  The last time I laughed like that in a movie theatre was when I watched Bridesmaids.  This movie works for one reason and one reason only...Tiffany Haddish.  If the character of Dina doesn't work, the energy of the entire film would be off and you could create less about the characters..  Thankfully, Haddish's take on Dina is right on time.

Producer Will Packer mentioned that he was "well aware the challenge of pitching an all female African-American movie to a major studio."  After all, the last time we saw a successful one was in the 90's with Set It Off.  Walking into a meeting with Universal Studios executive Donna Langley, Packer was prepared to describe what the Essence Festival  (aka Chocolate Mardi Gras) is and why it happens in New Orleans during 4th of July weekend.  Thankfully  for us Langley got it right away.

Shot in just 36 days, the chemistry amongst the all-star cast of Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish is like lightning in a bottle.  The most important lessons we learn about these women and their journey is that true friendship can survive anything.  And...the strongest one of the bunch is the one who needs the most support.  Don't assume that the girlfriend who appears to have  it all together is a super woman.  That doll needs a shoulder to cry on too.

The casting in general is just right on time.  Larenz Tate (the world's oldest looking teenager) is perfect as the college friend pining away for Ryan (Regina Hall).  Mike Epps in a small cameo role  as a street vendor is pure hysterical.

The presence and importance of social media in today's world was presented very well via Queen Latifah's fictional Sasha's Secrets blog and the Instagram hottie whose sheer presence online and off creates much havoc for our leading women.

Girls Trip opened on July 21 and is the second biggest opening weekend for Director Malcolm Lee since 2013's The Best Man Holiday.  What was that about black movies with black people not turning a profit?

If you haven't seen it yet, trust me on this one you will never laugh so hard in your life as you will during this flick.  Grab your squad, your bestie, some snacks and a few cocktails and buckle up baby!!!

Producers James Lopez and Will Packer

Producers James Lopez and Will Packer

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Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!