Support the Girls follows Lisa (Regina Hall), the general manager at Double Whammies, a highway-side ‘sports bar with curves’, who has her normally unstoppable optimism and faith – in her girls, her customers, and herself – tested over the course of a long, strange day. Directed by Andrew Bujalski and also starring: Haley Lu Richardson, Dylan Gelula, Shayna McHayle, James Le Gros & Lea DeLaria.
When you think of Regina Hall it’s probably for her recent roles in Girls Trip, Little or maybe even for her unforgettable appearances in the cringe comedy franchise Scary Movie, so it’s understandable you might be expecting something similar here, you’d be wrong. There’s no frills or flash to be found, only a down-home, working class story about dealing with your crappy job and problems at home. Hall plays the quintessential mom, in her work and private life, always trying to take care of everyone else and forgetting to make time for herself, it’s a role she does seamlessly and gives you an undeniable desire to make things easier for her. She’s also got some strong support in the form of Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart, The Edge of Seventeen) and rapper turned actress Shayna McHayle, making for a charming trio.
Support the Girls has a strong theme of bonding through the bullshit, we’ve all had jobs that were long, tiring and felt either pointless, boring or both and know the friendship that can be built out of putting up with it all, together. A theme which comes across in a very real and down to earth way, there’s no moment where the actresses come across as fake. There are a couple of moments where the editing isn’t particularly smooth with jarring transitions but for the most part it is extremely consistent, modest and leaning heavily on keeping things plain and simple, in its direction and cinematography.
The surprising element is the writing, with stories like these you can generally expect the usual pattern of behaviour but Support the Girls is unusual in the way it does things, because it’s not the same old sequence of events. It may not have you laughing out loud, in fact the comedy is much more downplayed than advertised but its humble charm is perfectly persistent, it’s alluring in its simplicity and lovely to watch. AJ Michalka’s fairly brief appearance is one of the more funny moments, coming completely out of the blue and not at all what you would expect.
It’s a bunch of sweet, loyal and charismatic women who are stuck in dead end jobs, putting up with chauvinist male customers in a small town, despite the fact that there really isn’t much more too it than that, it pulls you in and holds your attention remarkably well till the credits roll.
Verdict: 8/10 | ✯✯✯✯