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SXSW 2018: “Support the Girls” Review

On March 9, the comedy/drama “Support the Girls” premiered at SXSW. The film, written and directed by Austin filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, stars Regina Hall as Lisa, the general manager for a sports bar called Double Whammies, akin to Hooters, Bikinis or Twin Peaks. Most of the movie follows Lisa, but never sacrifices the stories of the younger women who work at the restaurant.

Photo by Michael Loccisano for Getty Images/ Photo courtesy of  SXSW

Maci (Haley Lu Richardson) is the chipper unofficial leader of the waitstaff at Double Whammies, while Danyelle (Shayna McHale) is an older and more responsible employee with a young son. The rest of the supporting cast also includes Lea DeLaria of “Orange is the New Black” as a supportive regular customer, actress/singer AJ Michalka as a former employee, and Dylan Gelula of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” as an eager new hire. The acting is great across the board, whether it’s from veteran Hall or newcomer McHale, and everyone in between.

The largely-female cast does a great job of telling the stories of underappreciated and mistreated women, which may be surprising to some, given that the movie is written and directed by a man. While there are not many overtly political themes to the film, it’s safe to say most of the women exhibit feminist beliefs and respect themselves and each other. It’s a refreshing and funny look at how women, specifically in the service industry, can empower each other when given the chance.

Although “Support the Girls” is often laugh-out-loud funny, it also has its moments of dramatic tension. There are situations involving abusive partners, divorce and more. Not only does this give the viewers a deeper look into the different personas these characters must adopt in different situations, but it also provides more chances for the women to support each other through the trials they face. It’s hard not to become emotionally attached to the main characters, who are all just trying to make a living and a life in a tough world.

Magnolia is set to release the film later in 2018, so be sure to keep an eye out for this winner of a film!

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