The Films of Andrew Bujalski
Funny Ha Ha
Support the Girls (August 29/18)
Support the Girls details the happenings over the course of one day at a Hooters-like restaurant called Double Whammies, with the movie focused primarily on the exploits of the establishment's beleaguered general manager (Regina Hall's Lisa) and her star employee (Haley Lu Richardson's Maci). Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski has infused Support the Girls with an almost astonishingly low-rent feel that remains a distraction from start to finish (ie Kevin Smith's early efforts look positively cinematic by comparison), while the lackadaisical storyline paves the way for a meandering narrative that's almost totally devoid of momentum - although, to be fair, Bujalski has sprinkled the proceedings with a very small handful of compelling sequences (eg Lisa firmly throws out an abusive customer). It's clear, ultimately, that writer/director Bujalski's decision to emphasize the minutiae of the protagonist's workday proves rather disastrous, as Support the Girls progresses into an episodic midsection that is, to an increasingly distressing extent, hardly as compelling as Bujalski has obviously intended and rife with pointless, padded-out interludes. The performances, particularly Hall and Richardson, are quite good, to be sure, and the movie generally does feel like an authentic representation of a very specific time and place, and yet Support the Girls, by the time it reaches its deflated, anticlimactic conclusion, has confirmed its place as a less-than-ambitious misfire that feels long even at 90 minutes.