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Essence July 2017 Cover Girls Trip - LEAD
Credit: Courtesy Essence

There's something special about a girls-only trip, solely about having fun and forgetting the harsh realities of daily life. We dance, we sing, we confess secrets and most importantly, we enjoy life. This is the Essence (pun intended) of Malcolm D. Lee's new film, Girls Trip.

The Will Packer-produced comedy stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish as the group travels to New Orleans for Essence Festival. And needless to say, with a cast like this, the girls have the time of their lives. From weed-laced edibles and nightclubs to swinging across Bourbon Street and making out with Kofi Siriboe, the ladies have so much fun that the audience will feel like they too are in the Big Easy.

"Because of our history in this country and how we’ve been labeled, I think we, as Black women, tend to be a little hard on ourselves,” Pinkett-Smith told Essence about letting go and having fun in the July 2017 issue.

“That feeling of always having to be on point has prevented us from being expansive in how we see ourselves and how we allow ourselves to be entertained, but I think we’re getting to a place where we’re afforded the opportunity to kind of cut loose and see all the wonderful colors of who we are," she said.

VIDEO: The Girls Trip Cast on the Essentials for a Summer Getaway

"In this film we are flawed, funny, vulnerable and out of our minds! We go way over the top, just to remind people that it’s comedy.”

As Essence West Coast editor Regina R. Robertson notes, along with the numerous gut-busting bits and ridiculously sticky situations, the tender moments that round out Girls Trip prove that the bond of friendship is as important as its maintenance.

“Even though this group of women gets to wild out together, they’ve also been holding on to some things that have made their friendship feel inauthentic," Pinkett-Smith said.

"Having to put all that stuff on the table is a part of growing, which is true for any relationship."

Pick up the July 2017 issue of Essence, on newsstands Friday, June 16, and head out and see Girls Trip on July 21.

This Story Originally Appeared On Essence