Watch or Wash? Our Review of Wacky Lesbian Buddy Comedy ‘Drive-Away Dolls’

Drive-Away Dolls: The Ethan Coen Lesbian Comedy Set in the Queer, Wild American South

Drive Away Dolls (2024) directed by Ethan Coen, movie cover
Drive-Away Dolls (2024) directed by Ethan Coen, movie cover

You’ve likely seen the Coens at their funniest with classics such as The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona under their belts. But, post-split, it’s obvious which one was the screwball comedy fan and which one enjoyed making their more devilish fares. Even at its darkest moments, there’s a certain Looney Tunes undertone to Ethan Coen’s solo directorial debut, Drive-Away Dolls, that never seems to fade. 

Co-written with wife Tricia Cooke, Coen delivers an insanely funny and witty story about two lesbian best friends taking a trip down South to escape their erotic woes. Geraldine Viswanathan shines as Marion, a shy bookworm who hasn’t been laid since her breakup five years ago. Her best pal, Jamie (played by the charming Margaret Qualley), suggests that she tag along on Marion’s road trip as her wingwoman. Freshly single herself, Jamie spends the whole movie trying to get Marion to finally let down her hair (or, even, her underwear) for a change. 

Coleman Domingo in screenshot from Drive-Away Dolls (2024) trailer, directed by Ethan Coen
Drive-Away Dolls (2024), Directed by Ethan Coen. Colman Domingo, Joey Slotnick, C.J. Wilson featured. Photo by Wilson Webb / Working Title / Fo/Wilson Webb / Working Title / F – © 2023 Focus Features. LLC.

However, these ladies do not know that they have rented the one car in the lot with more than love in its backseat. A mysterious case lies in its trunk, and two goons, hired by a mysterious mafioso played by Rustin actor Colman Domingo, are on the chase. What ensues is a casual cat-and-mouse game full of exes, sexes, and one Republican Senator played by Matt Damon. 

Drive-Away Dolls Trailer via Youtube

Each shot is masterfully done and dizzy with detail, from Dutch angles to psychedelic iconography to wacky screen wipes. Yet, none of it feels overused or misplaced. If this is what Ethan Coen has to offer after breaking creatively with his brother, then I’m ready for the next one. This movie may be meant for the 21st-century lesbian. But anyone who finds loving a woman as dramatic as a criminal caper will enjoy this film.

In case you’re still wondering, this film is definitely A Watch! In theaters now.

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