“Support The Girls” Review: It’s A Family Joint?

Lisa (Regina Hall) is the manager of Double Whammies a “sports bar with curves”. The film follows a day in the life of a sports bar manager, promising the new recruits that all though they won’t be wearing much, this is a family place and ultimately the girls are completely safe. This belief is then challenged by the behavior of her manager, the clientele and the girls themselves. Will the close bond between the girls be able to save the bar from disaster?

The critique of sports bar culture is subtle throughout the film. Girls are frequently asked if they like working here, to which they respond that they are, citing the solidarity among the workers and their relationships with some of the regulars. However the exploitation of their passion for the bar, their love for each other, not to mention their bodies, is plain to see.
The misogyny of the situation is ever present but manifests subtly. Little glances of the male gaze, off hand comments, “innocent jokes”, nothing is overtly called out for the most part but near the end of the film an important element is removed from the bar. As a result one of the stalwarts of the bar suddenly has a crisis of confidence in the supposed family atmosphere and decides to disrupt the system, exposing what a fine line the establishment has been walking.
Although there are disturbing moments in the film, I found myself smiling through much of it. There’s a great sense of humour throughout, made electric by the fine performances by all. Regina Hall of course stands out as the fabulous manager of the establishment. She has extraordinary authority over the bar and it’s inhabitants but also has a. Shayna McHayle and Haley Lu Richardson are also compellingly charismatic as the two head girls in the bar, with differing but equally charismatic performances.
Support the Girls is a fascinating, hilarious and more than a little frightening insight in to the world of sports bars. It has much to say on workplace misogyny and but is at it’s heart a movie about women supporting each other.
Five Stars
Support The Girls will be premiering at The BFI London Film Festival on 17TH October, 18:15 at Picturehouse Central

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