Review of “Girls Trip” after watching MWB’s YouTube video cut the film up
**SPOILER ALERT** Contains a few details that you may not want to view unless you’ve seen the film.
Long ago, I recall well meaning National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) think tankers thought that, because there was no balance in the roles of Afrikan Amerikans portrayed in the television industry, it was their civic duty to wipe out the seeming stereotypic images presented by the tv series “Amos and Andy.” There was not much on tv about us during this era except “Beulah,” which the NAACP initially praised Hattie McDaniels tv portrayal taken over from the white male actor on radio. They then lumped it together with “Amos and Andy” which was also originally portrayed by white actors on radio, denouncing both as portraying negative stereotypical images.
I praise the work of well meaning defenders of our Afrikan images, heritage, family values, womanhood, manhood and positive images of our children. What the NAACP seemingly got right was to remove what they considered stereotypical images. What they got wrong was removing the few images that we had on tv despite the fact that there were actually positively balanced buffoonery as well as hard working characters. Take the characters, Amos and Andy who were owners of a cab company in Harlem, one a family man the other dating and a little gullible yet seeking greater opportunities. The buffoonery and stereotypical interplay was provided by George “King Fish” Stephen’s attempts to exploit Andy’s gullibility in get-rich-quick schemes thereby creating the situation comedy aspect of the show. Amos, the positive character always had to bail out his partner Andy from the schemes of King Fish, the negative character. Through the benevolent efforts of the NAACP, for want of positive images, we lost the positive images of two black men business owners and were left with black portrayals of chauffeurs, maids, and elevator operators.
The ladies of Married Women’s Biz (MWB, MarriedWomensBiz.com) talk of balance in “Girls Trip.” Their well meaning dissection of “Girls Trip” claims there were no positive images in the movie, which is false. Ryan Pierce, the successful author and motivational speaker, along with her former NFL star husband Stewart Pierce are a seemingly perfect couple, both positive images. Sasha, a struggling gossip writer with her own company, no less positive image except the struggling part that shows her assets being repossessed. Her struggles are partly explained by the moral dilemma of what she does juxtaposed against the betrayal of one of her friends decision to not partner with her to form a black “Huffington Post” which is revealed later in the movie.
MWB’s condemnation of the entire movie stems mainly from what we would consider the over the top, masterfully portrayed “wratchet” behavior of Tiffany Haddish’s character Dina, who stole every scene she was in, even when her part was peripheral. Name a black woman stereotype, except ugly which Ms Haddish definitely is not, the character Dina took beyond the limit. The others behavior often followed her wratchet lead in the spirt of “turnin’ it up” for old times sake on this all expenses paid visit to the Essence Festival. “Turnt Up” was what they did to release some of the stress of their lives from, near bankruptcy, a sexless life dedicated to child rearing, being fired, and infidelity for one weekend of debauchery.
Stop, MWB. When it is that we cannot laugh at admittedly over the top depictions of normal people coping with life’s vicissitudes with raucous behavior I’m sure both of you seeming protectors of all that is virtuous in Afrikan behavior have truly lost an crucial aspect of our survival and coping mechanism, laughing to keep from crying and giving up on life.
The slapstick, alcohol abusing (absinthe is not a drug but a very high proof alcoholic beverage which today the hallucinogenic herb has been removed), lascivious acting overshadows a deep friendship between these women that had not been enjoyed in five years. That same friendship was put to test in having each other’s back in the time of crisis that these scenes from the movie were portrayed in such a balanced manner they never became maudlin or slowing to the film. These scenes never became laden with the heavy morality of the situation as happens so often in comedies. You felt the pain of each character and were on the edge of your seat to have the camaraderie of these four sisters restored.
So, lighten up MWB. There’s room in my life at least from paying bills, being a good upstanding father and grandfather, coworker, friend in need, target of police racial profiling, sufferer of mass incarceration, gentrification, underemployment, human trafficking, our unacknowledged missing girls and boys, to laugh at unbridled self indulgent hedonistic behavior of four Afrikan Amerikan women that needed a break from the era of tRump, cause frankly sometimes girls trip, and their boy counter parts do too!