Pinkett Smith on raunchy comedy breaking stereotypes

Jada Pinkett Smith in new movie Girl's Trip. Photo Supplied
Jada Pinkett Smith in new movie Girl's Trip. Photo Supplied

All these years after Sex and the City, Jada Pinkett Smith is baffled why it taken so long for Hollywood to make a movie about four African-American women having a wild weekend away.

"I don't know," she says. "That's a good question."

But having finally made Girl's Trip, with Pinkett Smith playing a nurse who joins three longtime friends heading to New Orleans for raunchy adventures, Hollywood is seeing how well a new comic formula can work.

Made for just $US19 million ($24 million), it has become the first comedy to take more than $US100 million in North America this year.

Like Bridesmaids, Girl's Trip sees its female characters having raucous fun, with plenty of gags about sex. And like Hidden Figures, it centres on black women.

In Sydney to launch the movie before its opening on Thursday, Pinkett Smith saw it as groundbreaking.

"What Girl's Trip has done is break those stereotypical ideas of films starring African-American women specifically," she says. "We have stories to tell that are universal, that everybody can enjoy. They're just human stories."

Formerly best known for the Matrix sequels, the Madagascar movies and Magic Mike XXL, Pinkett Smith is part of a famous Hollywood family with husband Will Smith and actor children Jaden and Willow.

She stars in Girl's Trip alongside Regina Hall, who plays a successful author, Queen Latifah as a struggling gossip columnist and Tiffany Haddish as a hothead office worker.

Pinkett Smith believes Hollywood is slowly recognising the value of stories centring on women since the success of Bridesmaids.

"We definitely have to give Hollywood kudos for that," she says. "I'm hoping that slowly but surely Hollywood is starting to wake up to the idea that people want to see stories about women."

The obstacle has been the most of the decisions at the studios have been by men.

"Sometimes men go 'I don't want to see this'," she says. "Well of course you wouldn't want to see it.

"That's why we've have to have women in different positions and we have to have people from different cultures in positions because we all come with different perspectives."

But is it necessary for a female comedy to be as raunchy as a male comedy like The Hangover?

"I don't necessarily think it's necessary but I think women enjoy it because we get to break out of the feeling that we don't have the licence to do so," Pinkett Smith says. "This is how we are with our girlfriends - maybe not as over-the-top as you see in the movie but it is a movie and it is a comedy."

One of the stories in Girl's Trip centres on a celebrity couple whose lives, no matter how perfect they seem from the outside, are anything but.

Pinkett Smith recognises that as the reality of her own life.

"The idea of anybody thinking they're in a perfect relationship is a real trick bag," she says. "I think sometimes people believe because you have a certain amount of celebrity that your situation is going to be different and it's not. Relating is a big job and it's hard work."

This story Pinkett Smith on raunchy comedy breaking stereotypes first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.