Support the Girls

The unimaginable has happened. I have attended a film, and afterwards…I researched it. I actually tried to understand what the film maker was trying to say. This is unprecedented! Normally I just make things up! Is this how Mark Kermode and Peter Bradshaw feel all the time?

I attended a Discover Tuesday (where they show films not out in many other places) screening of Support the Girls, a film that appeared to come out in 2018 in America but sure. This is how many people had the same idea as me:

4 other people did eventually turn up, but still.

It shows us a day-and-a bit in the life of Lisa (Regina Hall), the general manager in a ‘Breasturant’ (I just can’t with this) called Double Whammies. Hooters. It’s about Hooters.

The film is directed by Andrew Bujalski, who has also directed several films you’ve never heard of.

So. I left this film feeling very, very confused, and not necessarily in a bad way. Support the Girls is being marketed as a comedy (I at least perceived it that way) but I really wouldn’t call it that. It’s more of a slow paced, indie realistic drama with a few dry jokes in, a style of film which the research I did afterwards taught me is called ‘mumblecore.’ Described as:

“Naturalistic acting and dialogue (sometimes improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s

e.g. Millennial shit that I am so here for. Examples used to explain this include the films of Greta Gerwig, and Lena Dunham’s TV show Girls. So you see why I’m not expecting this from a film about a Breasturant? This research also taught me the term Breasturant and now honestly my soul is dead.

Good Stuff

Now that we’ve established what this film was like, I can begin to try and express how I felt about it. It’s actually really great! End of review.

This is primarily down to Regina Hall, who’s acting is subtle but strong, down to the mere twitch of an eyebrow. She’s the general manager of Double Whammies, but she’s actually the mother to the team of young women who work there – she puts on a slightly fraudulent car wash for one of the girls who needs a lawyer, she kicks a huge biker guy out of the bar for calling one of the girls fat. The film is a testament to female friendships, women sticking up for each other, and the many complicated facets of being a woman.

In fact, the whole cast are brilliant, with a particularly notable Haley Lu Richardson as the so-shrill-it-hurts Maci who lights up every scene she’s in.

The previously mentioned naturalistic style of writing and direction makes it very easy to care about these characters right from the get go. This is a day in the life of Lisa, but it’s not a standard day – there’s still enough action and drama to keep your attention, but it all feels like it could have actually happened. I loved watching Lisa’s journey, and the small glimpses we were given into different parts of her life all left me wanting more.

This is 100% the kind of film that the more I learnt about it afterwards, the more I felt glad that I had seen it. Oh god I hope this doesn’t take away from my poorly researched slightly drunk branding that I have worked TIRELESSLY to achieve. Here’s the articles I read:

Why “godfather of mumblecore” Andrew Bujalski is worried about the word “content”

The Bergman of the Breastaurant: How Andrew Bujalski Made a Sophisticated Hooters Comedy

Bad Stuff

The style of the film means that it inevitably does drag in parts. Also, the portrayal of men is really quite unforgiving – something I have no issue with AT ALL – but it must have been quite intense for even me to notice.

Conclusion

A thoughtful, well made film that might not keep your attention if you watched it on TV. But, we learnt what mumblecore is today. That’s something.

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