Support The Girls Review

What do you do with a right pair of tits?

If you’re a tory, you’ll make one of them your country’s new Prime Minister.

If you’re a woman, you’ll find a way to support them – as we sort of find out in Andrew Bujalski’s new film Support the Girls

Lisa is the manager of a good ol’ american titty bar called Double Whammies – think Hooters only less classy and you’re half way there.

The feckless owner of this joint leaves the day to day running of his bar to our heroine so he can play golf, drink beer, hunt gators and whatever else it is that red neck americans done good like to do with their time.

Meanwhile, Lisa juggles managing Double Whammies with her own failing personal life, as well as those of her employees and the bar’s clientele.

As you may imagine of folk who frequent titty joints, most of these people don’t really have their shit together – and that goes double for the girls.

Which means there’s never ending boy drama that Lisa gets dragged into, be it some casual domestic abuse, the routine difficulties of being a single mother or just some girl whose self-esteem is so low that they’re dating someone who’s old enough to be their grandfather.

Can Lisa keep everything and everyone else around her together without letting her own life fall to pieces?

Or is it time for her to make some changes of her own.

Support the Girls wants to be a wry exploration of the day-to-day insanity working class women routinely face in the morally bankrupt US of A.

Alas, writer and director Bujalski doesn’t really have any real depth or even anything original to say about this.

I’d lazily assumed setting Support the Girls in ‘Hooters’ was a set up for some greater truth about why intelligent and capable women end up working in these kind of places – other than they overly simplistic idea that they don’t have many other choices.

When said truth doesn’t materialise, with Bujalski opting for a straight up comedic approach, the titty bar aesthetic quickly starts to feel calculated and exploitative.

Ultimately, I felt like this tale of working class women was told by the wrong person – i.e. a man – and this male gaze was perfectly embodied by the frankly absurd notion that a beautiful young woman would have any interest in dating a customer old enough to be her grandfather.

If Bujalski had followed through on some of the themes introduced in the first half of his film, this could have been a very interesting and enjoyable film.

As it is, Support the Girls ends up feeling pretty flat.

­­Jonathan Campbell

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June 2019
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