Drive-Away Dolls (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Drive Away Dolls is not for everyone and will likely become a cult classic with a niche audience.

Joel and Ethan Coen  (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) are brothers who also happen to be award-winning filmmakers.  Throughout their career, they have created crime thrillers, dramas, comedies, etc., and seem to excel at them all. Their Dramas have a little bit of comedy thrown in and their comedies are infused with unintended drama.  Occasionally, the dynamic duo work on projects without each other as evidenced by the Ethan Coen/Tricia Cooke (Barton Fink) penned action/comedy/thriller Drive Away Dolls. Releasing in theaters this week, Drive Away Dolls takes its audience on a wild, and sometimes psychedelic, ride.

Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan; Blockers) is a sexually repressed lesbian who hasn't been with anyone since her ex-girlfriend broke her heart over two years prior.  Jamie (Margaret Qualley; Fosse/Verdon) is a free spirit who frequently cheats on her police officer girlfriend, Susie (Beanie Feldstein; Booksmart).  When Susie has finally had enough of Jamie's infidelity, she kicks Jamie out who then crashes on Marian's couch. However, when Marian mentions that she is going to visit her aunt in Florida, Jamie decides to tag along. Using a drive-away service as transportation to get to Florida, the women accidentally are given the wrong car, unaware of its unusual contents nor that thugs are now after them.  

One has to wonder where Coen and Cooke came up with the idea for Drive Away Dolls (which I suspect originally had a less public-friendly title, based on the end of the movie), as the premise is highly unusual.  However, if you know anything about the Coen Brothers, you are aware they tend to think outside the box and are very good at shocking people.  They also know how to write sharp, witty dialogue and how to frame movies that are appealing and oddly entertaining.  Ethan, working with a different partner, still manages to create something interesting.

Of course, even the best scripts can fall flat without the right cast.  Luckily, Coen chose wisely and Qualley and Viswanathan are perfect for their roles.  Feldstein is excellent as well but supporting actor, Joey Slotnick (Hollow Man), who plays one of the thugs after Jamie and Marian, stands out in all of his scenes.  Coen also obviously called in a few favors (or everyone and their brother in Hollywood just want to work with him) because other supporting cast members include Colman Domingo (Rustin), Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave) and Matt Damon (Oppenheimer). 

The various locations are eclectic and interesting, to say the least.  From a backwater bar to a suburban basement to a high-end hotel, each set has a purpose and lends itself to the overall mood of the scene.

To be honest, The situations are so ridiculous, that I have no idea how the cast managed to shoot their scenes without cracking up, such as when Feldstein had to cry in despair and curse out Jamie while unscrewing a sexual toy from the wall.  The absurdity of just the idea of that statement is laughable and that takes place less than thirty minutes into the movie.

Drive Away Dolls is not for everyone and will most likely become a cult classic with a niche audience. It isn't for the faint of heart and, as it has blatant homosexual sex scenes, it wouldn't be something most Sunday churchgoers would enjoy. 

However, regardless of the content, Drive Away Dolls is just another master class in the art of filmmaking presented by one-half of the genius filmmaking duo that is the legendary Coen Brothers.  

Grade: B-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 84 minutes
Distributed By: Focus Features

Stream from Amazon Prime
Purchase Drive-Away Dolls from the iTunes store.
Watch on Apple TV

For more information about Drive-Away Dolls visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Drive-Away Dolls images are courtesy of Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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