The LEGO Movie ended by blowing up its universe so completely that the biggest challenge faced by its (two!) 2017 spinoffs was finding something, anything to make those stories feel like they were worth telling. They had mixed success, neither fully managed to overcome the hurdle. It seemed that the LEGO movie brand had decided to survive on the more easily replicable parts of their progenitor’s success; the poppy aesthetic, the quick-fire comedy, the gonzo mashup sensibility.
It’s nice to see a studio comedy which is defined by its earnestness. Girls Trip engages full on with every moving cog part of its machinery. From the opening narration by a character who is unironically labelled the new Oprah, or perhaps the modern Oprah, it’s trying to be a film about connection. That old getting the band back together type deal. We’ve seen it in a lot of films recently, the old group of friends struggling to rebuild their connection over the unstable foundation of past slights, what sets Girls Trip apart is how much it cares.