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Movie Review: ‘Support the Girls’ is a Low-Key Look at the Ins and Outs of a Curvy Family Sports Bar

CREDIT: Magnolia Pictures

Starring: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, James Le Gros, Junglepussy, Dylan Gelula, Lea DeLaria, AJ Michalka

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Running Time: 91 Minutes

Rating: R for a Nipple That’s Visible for a Fraction of a Second

Release Date: August 24, 2018 (Limited)

A wayward day at work, especially if you have a job in the service industry, has a way of making time feel distorted. And if you’re working at a Hooters-style “family” restaurant, you also have to contend with the distortion of typically agreed-upon social mores. So it is for Double Whammies general manager Lisa Conroy (Regina Hall), who finds herself at the nexus of so many little disasters over one day. Every shift at Double Whammies is a potential disaster, so it is no surprise that an early scene features Lisa explaining her zero tolerance policy towards “grabbers.” On top of that ever-present risk, this day is just a circus. A bunch of potential new waitresses are recruited for an extracurricular car wash, somebody is stuck in the vents, and the cable is threatening to be out during a big boxing match.

Support the Girls has the look and feel of a shaggy dramedy, capturing the minutiae of suburban service employment without directly commenting upon it. But it turns out that there is a tighter focus to writer/director Andrew Bujalski’s approach than he at first lets on, as Lisa is closer to the end of her rope than we initially realize. An alternate title could have been We Caught Her on a Good Day and a Bad Day. There’s a weird mix of committed and easygoing at play here. Hall is steely enough to make Lisa’s journey compelling, but I’m more interested in probing the psyche of Maci (Haley Lu Richardson), her most enthusiastic waitress. Maci is the type of person who suddenly pops out of a door to shoot confetti and declare, “You’re the best and we love ya!” She is a burst of consistent positive energy, which in this environment is alarming but never less than genuine. How do the Maci’s of the world stay on all the time? Are they role models for us all? Or maybe ideal best friends? Or perhaps cautionary tales struggling with demons they never show us?

Support the Girls is Recommended If You Like: Anything with Regina Hall or Haley Lu Richardson

Grade: 3 out of 5 Crop Tops

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