“Girls Trip” is a perfect example of what happens when a filmmaker gets a hyper-talented group of performers, but forgets when to say “cut.” Much like Judd Apatow’s egregiously overlong comedies, this one starts off extremely well, with a satisfying set-up and an ebullient energy to boot, giving each of its four leads plenty of material to sink their teeth into. In particular, the girls’ arrival to New Orleans is a joyful celebration of friendship and filled with little stand-out moments and shots that establish the movie’s hedonistic vibe. But by the 90-minute mark, the movie has long run out of steam and there’s still another half-hour to go on the way to its preposterous 120-minute running time. Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett-Smith seem to be having the time of their lives here, with Haddish in particular infusing every bit of dialogue and screentime she has with a manic comic energy that announces a major talent. But too many side-plots and an overabundance of secondary characters make the movie feel about twice as long as it is, and robs the movie of its immediacy and kinetic energy. A judicious editing job could make this a comedy classic, but as it is it’s a flawed – albeit occasionally hilarious – celebration of friendship and sisterhood.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)