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Support the Girls

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

[Orson Welles]

A grounded and humanistic film about the gender dynamics in the food industry where women seek to find a home amidst a world of predators and creeps — or, as one critic put it: “stealth feminism in a sexist sports bar.” The mature follow-up to Waiting… , director Andrew Bujalski finds Regina Hall an inspirational force majeure in managing a sports bar while keeping it together while keeping the girls together. David Sims (The Atlantic) is right: “Support the Girls somehow manages to do it all, and in the form of a breezy, heartwarming workplace comedy to boot. There won’t be another film like it this year.”

While the film is based on bland, situational humor, there is also something surreal and worldly about this film with its raw documentarian emotion as it depicts the banal consequences of everyday life from the incorrigible public. The cross-sectional look into the last bastion of authentic customer service that has become a manufactured pretense to avoid legal liability. As Johnny Oleksinski (NY POST) puts well: “you come for the cheeky title and stay for the relevant, empathetic story about working-class women.” Or as Manohla Dargis (NY TIMES) writes, Bujalski “sees these women, and invites you to see them, too.”

While the film does not excel any anything, it offers a teachable moment for men to be better keepers of their sisters and for women to continue investing in themselves with a pure heart and compassion for all. There is an almost Christian ethos lodged deep in the realization of the films underlying narrative that speaks to the value of friendship over money or vocation. While largely forgettable, the film’s humanity is intoxicating.

RATING: C+

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