A joyous movie well worth seeking out, here’s our review of Support The Girls.

Certificate: 15
Director: Andrew Bujalski
Cast: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Dylan Gelula, Zoe Graham, Sayna McHayle
Release date: Out now
Reviewer: Charlotte Harrison

There’s something quietly joyous about Support The Girls, a spark that appears instantaneously and shines long past the end credits. A film about the manager and employees of a sports bar called Double Whammies ends up being far more than that.

The focus is on manager Lisa (Hall), a woman who’s hiding her personal and professional problems as best as she can. She’s a mother bear to the waitresses she manages, and they clearly love her as much as she loves them. The film follows her on a day where everything that can go wrong does go wrong. But what’s important is how she reacts and how the dynamics of her relationships play out.

This is excellent utilisation of the day (and a half) in a life narrative format. We learn as much as we need to know about Lisa, Maci and Danyelle. And what we don’t know, we don’t really need to know. It’s not relevant to that day and it’s not relevant to how we respond to them. What prevails is a film about female friendship and how the best versions of it let us see each other’s flaws and embrace them, not despite of them but because of them.

It’s impossible to not be enamoured with these women. Lisa is dependable and reliable, the epitome of swan on top whilst desperately paddling underneath. Hall plays her with such depth, carefully showing us the sunny veneer that is close to breaking point. Richardson plays Maci wonderfully, so earnest and kindhearted. MaHayle’s Dannyelle feels like someone we instantly know, clearly frustrated by life yet always there for her friends. The chemistry and rapport between them is electric and truly believable. This is enhanced by the fact the trio aren’t just well sketched out characters that are tenderly depicted; they feel like real people who would make great friends. And, in many ways, they are every woman. They reflect the trials and tribulations of life that we all endure, representing the female experience in a way cinema rarely attempts to do so. It also captures a solidarity between women that’s also rarely depicted on the big screen. Romantic relationships are secondary to the friendships and the support network they’ve established amongst themselves.

A workplace, slice of life, tale of friendship drama that is as endearing as it is funny.

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