Support the Girls – Blah!!!!

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: I enjoy experimenting with the $1 rental on iTunes or if I had paid attention, on Hulu. The rentals are typically a movie I wanted to watch in the theaters, but other films offered more potential at the time. I risked watching “Support the Girls” believing the consistent score from Rotten Tomatoes 93% and Metacritic 85%, that I would find a hidden gem. Unfortunately, I stepped in a big pile of manure.

“Support the Girls” lacks direction and focus. The main characters actions and dialogue seemed inconsistent. While I appreciated some insight into the life of waitresses wearing skimpy clothes, I found “Support the Girls” absent of a story arc. The director delivers a forced and empty attempt to finalize the movie with character development.

My wife’s score is 0. She found no value at all in the film.

Plot: Lisa (Regina Hall) manages Double Whammie, a Hooters type restaurant. She sees herself as being part of a family at work but when the day goes poorly, everything falls apart.

Detail: Here is the plot from IMDB:

The general manager at a highway-side ”sports bar with curves” has her incurable optimism and faith, in her girls, her customers, and herself, tested over the course of a long, strange day.

I expected a virtuous and heroic main character instead, we ended up with a merely nice person. She runs a car wash raising money to fund a lawyer for one of the girls but raises the money under false pretenses. She uses a friend to flirt with a young man at the audio/visual store to borrow equipment. The mildly worthy cause conflicted against her underhanded approach to towards kindness. She never admits she is wrong.

They didn’t deeply explore why she felt the compulsion to assist all the waitresses and treat them like children by solving their problems. A troubled marriage is briefly indicated but outside of the brief glimpse into her life, we weren’t provided with the substantial background explaining her motivation.

The prior night during a break in, a thief becomes stuck in the vents. She doesn’t contact her boss/owner about a break-in that occurred the prior night. Later we discover the owner and she disagreed on many things and the owner wants to fire her. She purposefully hid items from the owner, which wasn’t right. Then, one of the cooks informed the crook how to sneak into the restaurant and provided the codes to the safe. She fires him but tells him to work out the day. Was she being nice, or selfish?

In the end, Lisa wasn’t a relatable character. She caused many of her own problems, and difficult to empathize with her.

The movie finally unraveled when the owner arrives at the restaurant. He pulls up in a beat-up Bronco with a boat in tow. They talk about the carwash and the money in the safe, and he decides they should deposit all the money in the bank. So they both get in the Bronco.

First issue: They drive to the bank via the freeway for an extended period. How far away was the bank? Most companies handling large amounts of cash establish relationships with nearby banks and therefore this seemed like a plot device and unrealistic. Second issue: Why did he have the boat in tow? Was he coming back from a trip or heading on a trip? Third issue: He then chases down a car that cut him off? They argue, and she gets out, with the money and refuses to renter the vehicle or resume their discussion. She calls her husband to get her. What was the point?

Finally the last scene on the roof where they have just all interviewed for jobs at Mancave. Roof access is typically restricted due to liability reasons, so that seemed unrealistic. If they managed to access the roof and screamed, the property security or owner would have chased them down immediately. The scene allows Lisa to have her growth moment, which worked well. The scene felt forced and not natural.

A virtual cornucopia of plot issues that I could continue writing for days. The script had potential. As often is the case with a writer/director movie, there isn’t two minds working to resolve when parts of the film don’t work well. Had they stayed at the restaurant, and emphasized points while there, “Support the Girls” could have been an indie cult hit.