SUPPORT THE GIRLS – movie review

SUPPORT THE GIRLS

Magnolia Pictures
Reviewed by: Harvey Karten
Director:   Andrew Bujalski
Screenwriter:  Andrew Bujalski
Cast:  Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, James LeGros, Dylan Gelula
Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 6/18/18
Opens: August 24, 2018

You may be more curious than I am about the inner lives of sports bar hostesses, and if so, you won’t find much here because the bimbos on display appear to have no inner lives.  There may be one exception: that is Lisa (Regina Hall), who is general manager, a young woman with a lot of personality who keeps things running smoothly and acts as protector of the 20-something “ladies.”  If some yahoo customer in the bar disrespects his waitress, even if he thinks he’s only joking, she can throw the bum out. And that’s something she could not do with the rich people who patronized a steak house that employed Lisa who-knows-when but possibly one day before.  You see these girls get fired for any reason because there is apparently a long line of young, busty women who are being fired from their own sports bars.  So it’s all a game a musical chairs.

“Support the Girls” deals with a single day in the lives of the women and the mostly men who patronize the bar and who on this particular day are watching a big fight, the little fight being one that takes place on the floor of the bar. When the signal goes off on the TV, mayhem ensues, the men walking out just when the signal goes back on.

The day starts with an early break-in by someone unidentified who is picked up by two cops, who hang around a while longer, eyeing a big macho man who disrespects a waitress and who is therefore violating the rule: no sexism.  But there is some racism:  Cubby (James LeGros), the employer, has a rule forbidding more than one employee of color on the floor at any time. And don’t think that because he made Lisa the general manager he is violating his own policy, since Lisa does not serve on the floor.

The story is essentially plotless, though we do see that the boss is unhappy that the girls have set up a car wash in the lot to support one of the young woman.  There’s some money that Cubby wants to deposit in the bank but the cash is diverted by Lisa, who soon joins the unemployment people, who line up outside an employment office as though auditioning for A Chorus Line.

Director Andrew Bujalski is a Harvard man whose “Computer Chess” pitting man against machine offers quite a bit more and whose “Beeswax,” about twin sisters, one who is paraplegic, is far more worthwhile.

Unrated.  93 minutes.  © 2018 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – D
Acting – B-
Technical – C+
Overall – C

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