November 26, 2018  (Web Review)

Support the Girls

Magnolia, 90 min., R, DVD: $26.98, Blu-ray: $29.98, Dec. 4

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

A rowdy Texas sports bar called Double Whammies is the setting for Andrew Bujalski’s comedy-drama, which is surprisingly more sensitive than sensationalist as it takes seriously the problems of women who have little choice but to work in such establishments (yet still has its share of loud, goofy moments). Manager Lisa (Regina Hall) has her hands full, not just in helping her waitress crew with personal issues and rude customers, but also in placating her slimy boss (James Le Gros), who sees her as an enemy despite the fact that she keeps the joint running smoothly. Of course, Lisa also has her own troubles, being recently separated from her husband and struggling to make ends meet. Although she occasionally takes time out for a brief cry, or simply to look at the birds in the parking lot, Lisa is quickly on her feet again, glad-handing customers and encouraging her girls, both veterans and new hires. Support the Girls has a rambling, disorganized quality, but the lack of structure effectively reflects the disorder of both the establishment and the lives of the women who work there, especially when their camaraderie is tested by the imminent arrival of a national chain that threatens Double Whammies’ survival. Recommended. (F. Swietek)