Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Mike Colter, Kate Walsh
Directed By: Malcolm D Lee
Plot: Four lifelong friends who are somewhat estranged come together for a wild weekend in New Orleans, attempting to put their life problems aside and just have a good time. Ryan (Hall) is a very successful self-help author, Sasha (Latifah) is a gossip blogger, Lisa (Smith) is a doctor and mother, and Dina (Haddish) is the wild card of the bunch. When Ryan’s marriage starts to fall apart, it’s a good thing she’s got her girls by her side.
What Works: The comedy elements of this film are very strong. I laughed a lot. Tiffany Haddish is an obvious breakthrough here, stealing every scene she’s in, even if she is part of a trope. She’s one of those friends who never grew up, and you would have normally distanced yourself from, but for some reason these three successful women still keep her around. She’s very much the Zach Galafanakis of this gang. The four women have excellent chemistry together, and that chemistry pushes the film to work even when the content and the writing isn’t up to their speed. All four actresses do really good in the comedic stuff, no matter how crude or outlandish the gag. I also really enjoyed seeing Larenz Tate, who just does not get enough work. This movie is definitely not for kids, but adults should have a really great time laughing at the antics of these four women.
What Doesn’t Work: This film is kind of like a female Hangover mixed with Bad Moms, which is why I don’t understand why it bogged itself down dramatically. The script really lets its actresses down,and the direction suffers in the more dramatic parts. Honestly, I didn’t even like the actresses that much in the dramatic work. They did OK, but they couldn’t save the writing, which wasn’t where it needed to be. I wish this film had stuck to being a comedy, or at least reduced the dramatic stuff to a bare minimum. This film is more like a 60/40 split comedy/drama, and there were just too many dramatic scenes that just didn’t work for me. Also, please stop ending films with dance sequences. That’s another trope that needs to die.
Final Word: While it isn’t the best comedy of the year, it does have some really big laughs, and for that reason I’d still recommend it. You’ll have to wade through some sappy, very lifetime-esque moments to get through from laugh-to-laugh, but the laughs are the biggest payoff for this film. It delivers, and absolutely has more to offer than the previews suggested. There are some big laughs that the previews left out. I always appreciate when the previews don’t ruin all the best jokes in the film. I wouldn’t necessarily rush out to see this, but I’d say this is a good watch whether in theatres or at home. Yes, I realize that this might be a film not aimed at my demographic, but I do enjoy films with all female casts, and I also enjoy films with all black casts too. I appreciate a good film no matter who is starring in it, and I did like a lot about this film, just not the whole thing.
Final Grade: B