Writer and Director Andrew Bujalski accurately and authentically captures the idea of sisterhood in his latest film “Support the Girls.”
The film takes place at Double Whammies, a Hooters-style sports bar, which seems unlikely to be an environment that fosters female empowerment. However, it turns out to be the perfect stage to represent genuine feminist solidarity. Throughout the film, Double Whammies’ manager Lisa (Regina Hall) strives to protect her girls, as she calls them. From holding an impromptu carwash to raise money for one former employee, to actively enforcing her “zero tolerance policy” for customers who insult or touch the servers, she is willing to risk everything for her Double Whammies family.
With an ensemble cast, Regina Hall’s performance stands out from all the rest in the film. Her character, Lisa, is the only one that you really get to know. Yes, she does have the majority of the screen time, but Hall delivers an emotionally relatable performance. You can see her internal struggle between being a friend to her employees and seeking financial stability throughout the film. Besides Lisa, though, the film does not really delve into the stories of any other characters. Because of this, the other actors’ performances can easily go unnoticed. Haley Lu Richardson, who plays Maci, and Junglepussy, who plays Danyelle, both gave good performances, but their characters were not given enough of a storyline to have made a big mark.
The film moves slow at moments, making it boring at times, but also accurately captured the loneliness and desperation felt by the characters, specifically Lisa. Bujalski created an environment that genuinely reflects the mundaneness of everyday life in the restaurant business, while still finding the perfect places for humor. Nothing in the film was overdone which is a place Bujalski succeeds. However, the realness makes the film hard to follow, as it just seems to keep going with no clear end in sight most of the time.
Besides Regina Hall’s brilliant performance, the best part of this film is Bujalski’s ability to subtly insert the racial and gender discrimination these women face on a daily basis. He shows the small challenges the girls face each day at work in a way that feels relatable, not excessive or overstated. Because of that, Support the Girls is able to show everyday women supporting each other in a way that an audience can really identify with.
Support the Girls premiered on June 22nd at the BAMcinemaFest Film Festival. Magnolia will release it in Theaters August 24th and On Demand August 28th