starring Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, James Le Gros, Shayna McHale
written and directed by Andrew Bujalski
by Angelo Muredda A relaxed, low-stakes counterpart of sorts to Boots Riley's more amped-up Sorry To Bother You, Andrew Bujalski's Support the Girls is about as good as movies about labour, power, and empathy for one's fellow worker get. The marketing materials have emphasized the ostensible hijinks wrought by the film's Hooters knockoff setting, pitching Support the Girls as a more conventionally satisfying ensemble comedy than the rambling micro-budget indies with which Bujalski made his mark--a natural next step, after Results, in his post-Computer Chess evolution into the mid-budget range. Its uncharacteristically glossier colour palette and hooky premise aside, though, Support the Girls is a refreshingly rumpled affair that's squarely in the Bujalski tradition, more than earning its cathartic closing moments of a trio of exploited bar workers' collective rooftop scream into the abyss by taking every opportunity available to be the anti-Garden State: a film that prizes character over manufactured quirk and genuine workaday ennui over dopey existentialism.