Andrew Bujalski‘s latest film, Support the Girls (an Austin-shot production, nonetheless) is a fun and entertaining look into the world of Hooters-esque (or Twin Peaks for us Texans) dining establishments, the sexism involved with that industry, and the strong women that make up that said industry. All the leads in the film are very charming and funny, but the standout here is Regina Hall, fresh off of last year’s big hit Girls Trip, as the restaurant’s manager. Some of the jokes and the humor might’ve been a little inconsistent or just fell flat downright at times, but the cast and Hall’s performance make this film worthwhile.
Lisa (Hall) is the manager of Double Whammies, a bar similar to the one’s mentioned above. What makes Lisa a great manager of this restaurant is that she’s very protective of her waitstaff, who are easily subjected to sexual harassment/assault from customers almost on a daily basis. All the girls see her as a mother-like figure, and maybe even a little more than just that. One of the employees of the resturant needs some money, so the girls and Lisa start a car wash to raise money for this employee. But the owners are none too happy about this proposition, and are trying to shut down the operation throughout the day.
Along with Hall, the cast are really fun to watch in this film. Standouts include Haley Lu Richardson as the energetic Maci, Shayna McHayle as Danyelle, and Lea DeLaria as Bobo, a fiercely loyal customer who’s not afraid of starting a fight with a man disrespecting any of the ladies. The cast is really fun to watch, and you could tell by the reaction of the cast members and the people who worked on this film during the screening that this was a really fun movie to make. As mentioned before, their chemistry makes up for the times when the screenplay falls flat, and unfortunately it occurs quite a bit in this film. And the falling flat could be of a recurring joke that isn’t quite working, or a joke that Bujalski and the cast felt was really funny on set, but doesn’t translate all that well to the screen as an audience member.
But Support the Girls is not a bad film. It’s good! And like I said, the cast saves the film when the screenplay has a hard time finding its voice. Magnolia Pictures picked up the film a few days in advance of the screening last night, so when it comes out in theaters I hope you check it out. Not just because the cast is really fun to watch, but you’d be supporting a film shot in Austin (thanks to the braintrust at the State Capitol there isn’t much of a film incentive program left here in Texas) and supporting a local filmmaker in Andrew Bujalski, and that’s honestly what really matters at the end of the day.