Girls Trip more than delivers on its promise of a nonstop ladies' raunchfest — I dare you to look at a grapefruit the same way after seeing the new film. When lifestyle guru Ryan (Regina Hall) is invited to give the keynote speech at Essence Fest, she decides to get her estranged college "Flossy Posse" back together for a wild weekend, including gossip blogger Sasha (Queen Latifah), divorcee Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), and loose cannon Dina (Tiffany Haddish). But for the four friends, having fun isn't just about partying hard — they only truly reunite when they drop their guard and get real with each other. And the Girls Trip end credits song, Kehlani's "Thank You" from the album SweetSexySavage, is a sweet, honest coda fitting the film's underlying message of friendship and support.
While the hookups-gone-wrong and booty hole smuggling (yup) featured in the movie are delightfully disgusting, gross-outs have been done on-screen before. What elevates Girls Trip is watching women struggle with, and struggle to admit, problems women aren't "supposed" to have. Kehlani, who wrote the lyrics to "Thank You", understands this better than most. She's dealt with accusations of cheating, slander, and attempted suicide, all while in the public eye. "Thank You" speaks to the difficulty of stumbling, but still moving forward towards being a better person.
Lyrics like "I never said that I was done with my growth/I never said, I never said that I was done doing the most" point to "having it all" as a dangerous lie that denies imperfections. And as Ryan and her friends learn in the movie, trying to "have it all'"inevitably leads to failure and disappointment, especially if you're already "doing the most." Kehlani herself admitted as much earlier this year in an Elle interview, saying, "I'm just trying to be successful in my own terms and be happy and be healthy and that's it."
Ultimately, the four friends of Girls Trip realize what having it all really means — having people in their lives who know their blemishes, see them trip and fall, but love them anyway. It just happens that in Girls Night, that unconditional love is expressed in many unique ways, including stopping tourists uploading videos of one friend's very public urination.
Mostly, though, they just bond over their years-long friendship and stick by each other's sides. And so when Kehlani sings, "Thank you for watching me walk across the stage/For walking me through my heartbreaks/Thanks for the love every step of the way/With no support this wouldn't be as great," she reemphasizes what it means to take genuine joy in your friends' joy, no matter what. And when you inevitably fall? There's nothing like having friends to cushion it and make it easier for you to get back up.
While "Thank You" might seem directed at one particular person by Kehlani, it's a forthright anthem all can enjoy, and a perfect capper for a film about friends coming back together to support one another, flaws and all.