No segue. I’ve seen the trailer a few times and I’ve been kind of looking forward to it.
The story looks like it’s about a woman trying to maintain order in her restaurant with a group of young employees who may or may not always get along and the woman is losing her mind.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Regina Hall (GIRLS TRIP , BARBERSHOP 3 , VACATION , and upcoming films THE HATE U GIVE  and PRISON LOGIC ), Haley Lu Richardson (COLUMBUS , THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN , and upcoming films OPERATION FINALE  and FIVE FEET APART ), Brooklyn Decker (BAND AID ), AJ Michalka (SUPER 8  and HELLCATS [2010 – 2011]), and Lea Delaria (CARS 3 ).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing, we have Andrew Bujalski, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, but it was recently announced that Disney is planning a live-action Lady and the Tramp movie, and Bujalski is slated to write the screenplay. No release date announced. There is no score for this film. The cinematographer is Matthias Grunsky, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, and the upcoming BÁBÓG (2018). Finally, the editor is Karen Skloss, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of.
Early ratings are not encouraging. IMDb currently has it at a 4.7/10 (as of 8/21/2018), but I remain optimistic. I’ve disagreed with IMDb before, so we’ll see. I know it won’t be great, but I suspect it’ll be entertaining enough.
This is my honest opinion of: SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Set in Texas. Lisa (Regina Hall) is the general manager of a sports themed bar and grill called Double Whammies, and already her day started off on the wrong foot by crying in her car. But she and her most trusted employee Maci (Haley Lu Richardson) head in to start the day and begin orientation for a new batch of potential employees, and even seeks their help for a secret car wash fundraiser. However, as the day progresses, the worse things get for Lisa. Her semi-racist boss Cubby (James Le Gros) chews her out and threatens to fire her, the cable is out for the televisions, and of course, the general drama of customers harassing the female scantily clad employees.
Damn it, and this looked so promising. Ugh, no, it’s not good.
The biggest problem with the movie is that there is no real story being told. On paper, this movie should be right up my alley. It’s supposed to be about this woman who is the general manager of a restaurant, and over the course of a stressful day that only gets harder and harder, her calm and collected demeanor gets more and more chipped away until she finally snaps. Essentially, it’s a behind the scenes look at the hardships of management of a restaurant, and is just a little slice of life taken to a marginal extreme. This was supposed to be an easy sell for a guy like me.
However, the movie’s execution is atrocious. Let’s start at the very beginning. The opening is basically Lisa crying in her car. The natural question we ask is, “Why?” Well, to be honest, I have no idea why. I have a guess. Later on, Lisa is otherwise not at work and calls her husband Cameron (Lawrence Varnado) to pick her up. We learn that there’s some marital tension. He’s become reclusive, I think. My only real clue is that she has a line that goes, “If I hadn’t called you, you would still be on that couch on your laptop,” and he barely says a damned word. Just a whole lot of looking sad. Then we never see his character again. What did we learn? Was this tension and lack of communication the reason why she was crying in the car in the beginning of the movie? It’s a good bet, but inconclusive. There’s nothing to support that this is the reason why. Furthermore, we have no context on the situation. Why is Cam in such a downer mood? Is this a recent thing? Has been going on for awhile? And why is it worth crying in the car? One would think simple communication issues can be resolved through marriage counseling. But that’s entirely speculation. The movie gives us nothing.
Another example. There’s an entire subplot dedicated to this car wash fundraiser for a former employee who needs money… for a lawyer, I guess? I was barely paying attention, but, okay, got it. It’s established that Lisa genuinely cares about the girls under her care. The car wash is under the radar, the owner doesn’t know about it, the whole enchilada. Up to this point, we’ve actually never met this character, and yet Lisa’s putting her job on the line, which is ultimately threatened when Cubby (James Le Gros) does discover everything. We go a fairly large chunk of the movie’s runtime without ever seeing this character that the movie practically revolves around. We do eventually, of course, but… even that’s underwhelming. For one thing, she only has one scene and is lasts somewhere between five to ten minutes and never makes a reappearance again. But fine, characters have had brief roles before and left an impact on the movie, perhaps this is in the same vein as that? No, it really isn’t. This character is actually quite unlikable. She shows up with a boyfriend with a broken leg, whom we’re apparently supposed to be familiar with (which we’re not), who is something of a douche bag, and I guess the money that was raised was meant for him. Lisa raised the money for her, but she intended it to be for him. I mean, I’m making it sound more manipulative and monstrous than it really is. Still, ungrateful bitch much? For such a prolonged build-up to a character that Lisa ends up losing her job for, this scene is wholly unsatisfying. Whether or not that’s the point of the scene, we haven’t been given a reason to care about this girl and it’s hard to be invested in Lisa’s efforts as a result.
That’s pretty much the entire movie. Stuff sort of just happens to Lisa, but there’s no reason to be invested in what happens because we’re not given context and reason. Were I to change anything, I would have it that Lisa starts off the day fairly standard. No crying, just content. Another day, another dollar type shit. But lean in more to the harassing customers, the cable being out on the TVs, new girls not knowing what the hell they’re doing on a busy day, Lisa forced to fire an employee, keeping the owner happy, perhaps throw in some infighting between the employees that Lisa has to deal with. After all, one of the biggest themes of the movie, and Double Whammies in general, is no drama. But there is no drama between the girls in the presented movie. Just the girls and the customers, which I imagine is pretty commonplace in a joint like this with girls in scantily clad uniforms like theirs. There’s more opportunities within the job itself that should have contributed to Lisa’s eventual meltdown, but it’s not well-integrated into the story.
With all of that said, I do have to give some credit. This is almost a prime example of good acting almost rising above the material. Most of the cast, if not the entire cast, does incredibly well. Specifically, everyone is in one way or another, extremely likable. At worst, you look at the energy that they bring to the table and you want to like them. Hall gives a great performance to an otherwise thin character. Richardson? By God, this woman is a damned peach. If you ask her to show up on set and act like a bubbly and enthusiastic young woman, then by the grace of God, she’s going to punch in that proverbial time card, show up on set, and deliver it to a tee. Every moment she’s on screen, you watch her. You want to follow her motives and you want to know more about her. You don’t know too much about her, and what you do learn, like she’s dating a freakishly old man who is a professor, is not so cute to learn about, but Richardson has charm and likability in freakin’ spades. Why is she always in bad movies?! God damn it, Hollywood, I demand this girl get better roles! Like EDGE OF SEVENTEEN! That was a good role! More of that level of quality, mother fuckers! Lea DeLaria was a fun constant in the flick, both Dylan Gelula and Shayna McHayle had a few fun moments, so the movie isn’t devoid of talent that will sadly and criminally get overlooked.
Overall, this movie is a pretty big letdown. I really wanted to like it, but it’s such a mess of a story. Very little makes sense or gives the audience reason to care about what’s happening, or being featured on screen. What should have been a darkly funny concept quickly and efficiently becomes a jumbled circus of nonsense. The acting saves the project from being a complete dumpster fire for me, but I have a hard time believing that anyone will get that much out of it. As a recommendation, pass. You’re not missing much. Trust me, the trailer is far more charming and funny than the final product.
My honest rating for SUPPORT THE GIRLS: a weak 3/5
This week’s reviews
- THE LITTLE MERMAID
- THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
- THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS
- THE BOOKSHOP
Next week’s reviews:
- OPERATION FINALE
- THE LITTLE STRANGER
- LET THE CORPSES TAN / LAISSEZ BRONZER LES CADAVRES
- YA VEREMOS / WE’LL SEE