By Daniel Barnes
*Opens Friday, August 24, at the Landmark Opera Plaza in San Francisco and the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley.
Coyote Ugly meets Clerks by way of Linklater and Lizzie Borden, as the put-upon manager and waitresses at a second-rate Hooter’s knockoff known as Double Whammies disintegrate and bond over the course of an especially eventful workday. Regina Hall is the ostensible star of the film’s excellent ensemble as Lisa, the overworked but huge-hearted manager of Double Whammies, while the waitresses are led by Haley Lu Richardson as the bubbly Maci and Shayna McHayle as the conflicted Danyelle (James LeGros gets one of the few major male roles as the sports bar’s shitheel owner). Writer-director Bujalski follows up his 2015 film Results with another barbed yet warm human comedy, eschewing the lowbrow hijinks we expect of the milieu in favor of a sharp and thoughtful examination about the omnipresence of sexual negotiation in the workplace, especially for people on the bottom end of the economic spectrum. The plot meanders as much as you might expect from the so-called Godfather of [CENSORED], but along the way, Bujalski touches on themes ranging from racial and gender inequality to the importance of sisterhood to the difficulties of running an independent small business. All that and the film is very funny to boot.