Cinema encompasses big budget blockbusters like Sony’s Venom as well as smaller-scale passion projects more personal in nature. Director Andrew Bujalski’s Support the Girls, which was released last year, firmly falls into the latter camp, proudly sitting alongside fellow indie standouts Eighth Grade and The Florida Project.


Support the Girls is a portrait of American culture, depicting aspects of it that are often overlooked in media. It stars Regina Hall as Lisa, the beleaguered general manager of a Hooters-esque restaurant and bar. Support the Girls covers a day in her life, a demoralizing period that tests her spiritually and physically.

During our one-and-a-half-hours with her, Lisa manages an off-the-books carwash fundraiser (the “Support the Girls” fund, she dubs it), deal with unruly customers, fires two of her employees, and gets fired by her own superior, amongst other happenings. It’s an eventful timespan in her career characterized in part by institutional sexism and it shows how women suffer through it, closing with her and two colleagues emitting a therapeutic scream. While perhaps a message not everyone can relate to, it’s an important message and Hall’s character is an empathetic figure to deliver it.

However, another component to the film — and another of its strengths — is its theme of sisterhood. Lisa and her employees care for each other as family, a conceit that’s elevated by the casts’ excellent performances. Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle and AJ Michalka play off Hall well, all of them portraying an earnest camaraderie. But, akin to how Willem Dafoe elevated Florida Project, Hall shines here, giving an emotional, career-defining performance.

Support the Girls’ Blu-ray contains no bonus features beyond a batch of trailers for a few otherwise unrelated films published by Magnolia Pictures. Given the talent harbored by those who worked on this movie and the subject matter it discusses, this is highly disappointing.

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