SXSW Film Review: Support the Girls

Andrew Bujalski sets a feminist comedy in a sexy sports bar? Bold move.

A dude setting a feminist comedy in a sexy sports bar? Bold move. Titling it with a bra joke? Bolder. But writer/director Andrew Bujalski’s new comedy, Support the Girls, does it. It delivers a glimpse into the complex lives of working-class American women … along with a couple good butt jokes.

Support the Girls centers on Lisa (Regina Hall) − a manager of a busty, Hooters-style sports bar called Double Whammies. The film opens as she explains to a group of new hires that the bar is “a family establishment” like a Chili’s or Applebee’s, “but with fewer clothes and way better tips.” (Usually.) Kind, generous, hardworking, and fiercely protective of her employees − from the all-male kitchen staff, to the beautiful, but drama-prone waitstaff − she’s a mother hen to the endearing band of misfits under her employment. When one of the waitresses runs into legal trouble, Lisa organizes a benefit car wash to help with the cost. But the bar’s owner wants nothing to do with it and tries to shut it down. Lisa and waitresses Danyelle (Shayna McHayle) and Maci (Haley Lu Richardson) band together to try to get their friend the money she needs and to get Lisa through a bad day that keeps getting worse.

The film has just the right amount of puns and playful wordplay. (At one point Danyelle calls Lisa “the wind beneath her buffalo wings.”) And the addition of a trucker-hat-donning Lea DeLaria (Orange Is the New Black) as Bobo, their favorite customer and hero when the men get gross, highlights the central theme of the film: women empowering and protecting women. The plot takes a backseat to the dialogue, leaving the focus on character development − especially between Lisa and Danyelle. It also lets the actors’ comedic chops shine.

Support the Girls

Narrative Spotlight, World Premiere
Sunday, March 11, 2pm, Rollins Theatre
Friday, March 16, 7pm, Alamo Ritz
Saturday, March 17, 11:30am, Alamo South Lamar

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Austin Institution Saxon Pub Survives in SXSW Documentary
Austin Institution Saxon Pub Survives in SXSW Documentary
A glimmer of hope amid Austin development in Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub

Doug Freeman, March 8, 2019

Kathy Bates, Marc Maron, and More Confirmed for Texas Film Hall of Fame Ceremony
Kathy Bates, Marc Maron, and More Confirmed for Texas Film Hall of Fame Ceremony
We know the winners, now who'll be running the show?

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 14, 2019

More by Ashley Moreno
Moontower 2019 Review: Amanda Seales
Moontower 2019 Review: Amanda Seales
Her wide-ranging set proved this comic can't be pigeonholed

April 30, 2019

Moontower 2019 Review: Hari Kondabolu
Moontower 2019 Review: Hari Kondabolu
This stand-up act balanced light humor and social issues

April 29, 2019


SXSW Film 2018, Support the Girls, Andrew Bujalski, Austin film, Regina Hall

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle