Girls Trip ★★★½

There is nothing like an R-rated comedy that earns its rating and actually makes you laugh. Sadly, these are two few and far between these days. However, I am happy to report that Girls Trip, the latest in a genre of ladies acting raunchy for the sake of comedy, is one such unicorn.

The plot is not unique - four college buddies (the "Flossy Possy") get back together for a trip to New Orleans to renew their friendships, settle old scores, and of course get into shenanigans. What is unique is that there are actually some nice laughs set up and delivered by a nice ensemble cast including Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett Smith in a revelation of a performance.

However, the breakout star of the film is n as Tiffany Haddish, who plays the hard-partying friend. She steals ever scene she is in with her raunchy antics, ala Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids (which happens to be the last film in this genre to elicit genuine laughs).

Now I have to report I saw the film in a crowded Chicago cinema on a Saturday night, which was filled with the demographic the film depicts - middle-aged African American women - and they were loving every minute of it. I have to say this totally enhanced my enjoyment of the film - but in the end, funny is funny.

The much ballyhooed Bourbon Street zipline scene shown in the trailers is much funnier than you would image and an extended scene of the ladies under the influence of ancient absinthe is a modern classic.

The film also has heart. At its core, Girls Trip is really about strong women with an even stronger bond - something else to cheer about these days.