Thursday, January 17, 2019

Movie with Abe: Support the Girls

Support the Girls
Directed by Andrew Bujalski
Released August 24, 2018

Most movies, when boiled down, are simply about people trying to make it through the day. In the case of science-fiction films or crime thrillers, many factors may be stacked against them, with violence and the threat of death staring them down. Conflict need not be so dramatic, and those who lead perfectly ordinary lives may still struggle to keep it together and persist when obstacles, however small or seemingly insignificant, are thrown in their way. Putting on a happy face isn’t easy, and protagonists who persevere despite adversity can be just as compelling in any type of media.

Lisa (Regina Hall) is the general manager at Double Whammies, a sports bar with scantily-clad waitresses on the side of a highway in Texas. The owner Cubby (James Le Gros) tries each day to find a way to fire her, and she’s well aware that the spontaneous car wash she wants to engineer to raise money to help a friend in trouble with her boyfriend can serve as his latest ammunition. Concerned above all with the success and wellbeing of her employees even while she deals with problems in her own life, Lisa prepares for a big game night after a botched robbery attempt, leaning on her two most put-together waitresses, Danyelle (Shayna McHale) and Maci (Haley Lu Richardson), to help her keep things afloat.

This is a film that dives right in to its main character’s life, meeting her crying in her car before work and beginning a difficult day in which one new issue arises after another. There is no one express goal that Lisa has, and her aims change as she discovers new information and has to make on-the-spot calculations based on that for what her next move can be. Lisa can’t always present a strong face, but at no point does she exhibit a selfishness that overcomes her need to help others and do what she believes will best benefit everyone.

Hall received a handful of mentions for her lead performance, and it’s certainly a worthwhile turn, though this reviewer enjoyed her more in a supporting role in “People, Places, Things.” Both Richardson and rapper-turned actress McHayle are worthy of commendation for playing their parts superbly in a film that isn’t particularly novel or exciting but should manage to maintain audience interest in its perfectly standard and decently entertaining narrative.


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