'Drive-Away Dolls' Fails to Deliver any Substance or Consistent Laughs

Ulises Duenas


I didn’t know what to expect from  Ethan Coen's Drive-Away Dolls at first. It seems like a throwback comedy with a lot of absurd humor, which would have been fine. In reality, it doesn’t have much to say or show, with not enough laughs to justify its runtime. 


Jaime and Marian are friends trying to carve out their lives as young lesbians. When Jaime is dumped for cheating on her girlfriend, Marian decides she needs to take a trip to unwind. They rent a car to drive to Tallahassee, which happens to have a dead drop that belongs to a few criminals. The movie’s first 15 minutes aren’t bad and show promise for what could be a funny comedy. 



The core of the film is the friendship between Jaime and Marian. Margarett Qualley as Jaime is the most interesting character, as her character is the loud, brash one compared to Marian’s introverted personality. Qualley does a fine job, except for her Southern accent, which is always teetering between somewhat believable and week-one-of-improv-class bad. They eventually enter a romantic relationship, but it doesn’t flesh out their characters enough to make the audience care for them. It’s strange how little chemistry they have considering they’re supposed to be the heart of the film. 


Geraldine Viswanathan as Marian does her best to make the character succeed, but the script gives her little to work with. She’s on a journey to break out of her shell, and by the end of the movie, it doesn’t seem like she’s really changed, except for the fact that she’s dating Jaime. Her character ends up being quite boring, and the same can be said for the movie in general, due to its lack of consistent jokes or interesting plot hooks. 



Things finally start to ramp up towards the end, and by then, the slow place turns into a mad dash to the credits. Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon show up for a couple of scenes and the movie could have benefited from having them on screen longer, but maybe the budget wouldn’t allow for it. The absurdity of the plot and what the bad guys are chasing make for a few good, cheap laughs, but it just seems too little, too late. 


Drive-Away Dolls isn’t an empowering movie; it doesn’t have anything of substance to say; and it doesn’t have much in the way of humor. Any avenue this movie could have gone down to find its hook is empty. It’s one of those films that isn’t terrible by any means, but by the end of it, you struggle to think of anything that makes it memorable. 



Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer and film critic at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


not popular
Bottom Slider: 
In Slider