Girls’ trip Director Malcolm D Lee is enjoying his collaboration with Tiffany haddish, casting her here as Carrie, an exuberant teacher tasked with helping dropout Kevin Hart earn his general education development degree in this happily predictable, Atlanta-based comedy. “You look like bad credit,” Hart’s Teddy sneers at college applicants in a flashback from the exam room. “I am successful in the school of life. “
After an unfortunate explosion saw Joe’s BBQ and Luxury Patio Store employee of the month relegated to Christian Chicken’s drive-thru showcase, Teddy decides to take his tests so he can denounce a job as a financial analyst and keep the affection of his high income fiancee Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke, whom you might recognize from the TV series 24). After all, all these guys do is “bullshit customers all day long about things they don’t understand,” he says.
While Lee is versatile, I’m not sure he directs comedies as effectively as he does romantic dramas such as The best man movie theater. Some set pieces work better than others; There’s a physical comedy in a high school heist scene involving Hart and the other students, but a moaning moment involving cheesecake and pubic hair lands on the wrong side of disgust. Still, he’s good enough kid, taking generous hits in the US public school system and creating empathy for each of Carrie’s adult learners. Truly, however, the film is a vehicle for Haddish, whose timing and delivery blow the jokes off the page.