Film Review: SUPPORT THE GIRLS (USA 2018)

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Support the Girls Poster

The general manager at a highway-side ”sports bar with curves” has her incurable optimism and faith, in her girls, her customers, and herself, tested over the course of a long, strange day.


Andrew Bujalski


What is worse that working under an unreasonable boss?  A reasonable boss having to support all of his or her employees.  This is the premise of SUPPORT THE GIRLS, a film with the appropriate themed title that centres on an angel (but with a foul mouth) who supervises a burger and beer joint called “Double Whammies”.  This is not a strip club but the staff are scantly clad, which is a formula for trouble.  But the “Double Whammies” franchise is not that far out an idea.  Toronto has “Hooters” a franchise which is basically the same thing.

Lisa (Regina Hall) is the mother-hen manager of “Double Whammies”.  When the film opens, the audience sees her at work.  She is faced with a number of problems while hiring a few new girls.  There is a man stuck in the duct, some guy trying to break into the place – a good idea at that time.  At work, she has to find a babysitter for one of the other girls, organize a fundraiser to support one of the girls in distress and a cable outage just before the big fight when business is expected to pick up.  “You are the best manager ever, ” Lisa is complemented by one of the staffers in the film.  Lisa runs the place so that there is zero tolerance for abuse.  Touching and insulting are not allowed.  She does not need to call the cops as the cops are usually present in the venue as customers.

Of all the dramatic set-ups, the best segment is the one where a biker calls one of her waitresses fat.  She forces him to apologize or get kicked out of the place.  This scene caused a stir in the audience when the film debuted at SXSW 2018.  It is always a pleasure to watch an asshole, especially a female abuser get his comeuppance.  There are a number of rules that must be followed at “Double Whammies”, the first of which is “No Drama”.  How can one keep that one?   Lisa complains to the ass-hole owner of the place.

The soundtrack is mixed including some rap and Motown music.

Regina Hall holds her own playing Lisa.  Also starring as the wait-staff are Haley Lu Richardson as the cheery pro, Shayna McHayle (aka music artist Junglepussy) as the unflappable vet and Dylan Gelula as the newcomer who’d like to sleaze things up a bit.

The film is summed up by Lisa’s point of view expressed at an interview for a job at Man Cave.  The film’s climax has two staffers screaming at the top of their voices from a rooftop with Lisa looking on.  Their screeching voices are nothing short of irritating.  What should be an exhilarating segment turns out the complete opposite.   What was director Bujalki thinking?

SUPPORT THE GIRLS, good intentions aside (the film stresses the message of respect) runs down the predictable route.  Nothing really expected or surprising is in the script which he also wrote.

Recommended maybe for the staff of “Hooters”!



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