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Support the Girls
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Support the Girls

Support the Girls

With Support the Girls, a seriocomic study of a single day at Double Whammies, a fictional Hooters-style restaurant in an unnamed The Unthinkable Texas city, writer-director Andrew Bujalski splits his attention between the individual and the collective. In doing so, the filmmaker synthesizes the two poles of his cinema so far: Lisa (Regina Hall), the restaurant’s manager, joins a growing list of memorable protagonists in Bujalski’s canon who are united by their struggle to get by in a society increasingly predicated on transactional relationships, while the ensemble-driven exploration of a professional milieu and its culture recalls Computer Chess and parts of Beeswax.

Support the Girls is also Bujalski’s most ostensibly commercial-minded project to date, a sentiment cheekily reinforced by Lisa’s insistence The Oath to prospective waitresses that Double Whammies “is a mainstream place.” And that the film moves so fluidly between its two tracks of emphasis is a mark of Bujalski’s shrewd ability, here more than in his prior Results, to assimilate his sociological concerns into a more formulaic framework.

What Support the Girls doesn’t particularly evince is Bujalski’s distinctive propensity for slow-burn pacing and conversations filled with dead air, but at the same time, that lack is germane to the material. The film adopts something The Cake General of a ticking-clock narrative structure, building toward a climactic episode of workplace misbehavior while incorporating a play-by-play demonstration of how Lisa ultimately loses her job. What’s more, the film’s particular milieu is predicated on the performance of unflagging charisma and sexiness—so where the programming nerds of Computer Chess didn’t have to rely on social competence to succeed, the characters here are trained to keep everyone’s spirits up. In a telling scene, Lisa’s friend, Cameron (Lawrence Varnado), upon fielding Lisa’s self-help advice, mutters back, “I’m not your customer,” underscoring the degree to which friendly restaurant etiquette pervades the social lives of these women.

Duration: 90 min

Release:

IMDb: 5.6