The ‘breastaurant’ never caught on in the UK: that creepy American institution of family-friendly sports bars where waitresses wear push-up bras and not much else (a side of soft porn with your burger, sir?). With his easy-going workplace comedy, indie director Andrew Bujalski gives us a day in the life of the female manager of a Texas joint called Double Whammies, where the customers are wardrobe-sized construction dudes in bandanas ordering ‘big ass beers’.
Regina Hall, who after ‘Girls Trip’ is finally getting the recognition she deserves, is terrific as Lisa, everyone’s favourite boss – caring, kind, super-competent. But even Lisa’s patience is tested by the day from hell. When she arrives to open up the bar, a thief has broken in overnight. Lisa is also worrying about how to find bail money for a waitress who’s been arrested for running over her dick boyfriend. Hall gives a natural, real performance; she’s like someone you’ve met.
‘Support the Girls’ is brilliant on zero-hours culture: companies requiring employees to give 110 percent in return for the minimum wage and no job security. What can make all difference is a boss like Lisa. Weirdly though, the film doesn’t have a whole lot to say about the way restaurants like Double Whammies – the real-life national chain is Hooters – normalise the sexual objectification of women. Though one of the waitresses jokes about finding a bar where the waiters are hot guys in Speedos. ‘They should call it Nut-Huggers,’ she suggests.