SUPPORT THE GIRLS (15)
SUPPORT THE GIRLS (15)
Run time: 91 MINS
Director: Andrew Bujalski
Cast: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, James LeGros, AJ Michalka, Dylan Gelula,Shayna McHayle, Lea DeLaria, Jana Kramer, Brooklyn Decker
Synopsis: Lisa Conroy is the last person you’d expect to find in a highway-side ‘sports bar with curves’, but as general manager at Double Whammies, she’s come to love the place and its customers. An incurable den mother, she nurtures and protects her girls fiercely – but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction. Double Whammies sells a big, weird American fantasy, but what happens when reality pokes a bunch of holes in it?
This film is written and directed by Andrew Bujalski [Funny Ha Ha (2002), Mutual Appreciation (2005), Beeswax (2009), Computer Chess (2013)] who has been dubbed the ‘Godfather of Mumblecore’. Mumblecore has been described as a sub-genre of independent film characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue (sometimes improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s.
Support the Girls, which was in Barack Obama choice of films of 2018, handles serious themes with wit and humour providing a strong showcase for Regina Hall and a talented ensemble cast.
Lisa (Regina Hall) [The Hate U Give (2018), Girl’s Trip (2017]) is the general manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar that features skimpily dressed waitresses. Always nurturing and protective of her staff, she soon faces one trying day that tests her optimism at every turn.
Regina Hall has a lot of charisma and is able to make the whole experience more enjoyable than we might imagine.
The film is a quiet, layered, wonderfully performed celebration of sisterhood aimed squarely at the patriarchy, demonstrating thoughtful film-making which takes great care to follow its characters beat-by-beat.
Lisa puts out fire after fire at her job. There’s an intruder stuck in the air vents, a new batch of trainees to address, a secret car wash fundraiser she’s hiding from her boss (James LeGros), a thieving employee, day care needs, a lost cable connection, a failing marriage, toxic male customers, and on and on.
Barely keeping it together, Lisa serves as a den mother of sorts to her staff, led by the effervescent Maci ( Haley Lu Richardson), Danyelle ( film debut of Shayna McHayle, best known by her rapper moniker, Junglepussy). As they train the new recruits in this Texas dive by the side of a freeway, they understand that it’s a survival job where they have to make their customers feel less lonely. Violence, emotional or physical, could erupt at any second, so they learn how to make men feel heard and seen. As they navigate patriarchal society, one thing remains true – they look after each other in a theme of female empowerment and survival.
Images courtesy of: BULLDOG DISTRIBUTION