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Movie Review: 'Driveaway Dolls' Starring Margaret Qualley

Driveaway Dolls is an early 2024 favorite.

By Sean PatrickPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

Driveaway Dolls (2024)

Directed by Ethan Coen

Written by Ethan Coen, Tricia Cooke

Starring Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Colman Domingo, Matt Damon, Bill Camp, Pedro Pascal

Release Date February 23rd, 2024

Published February 23rd, 2024

Driveaway Dolls is one of the most sex-positive, pro-LGBTQ movies I have ever seen and I love it. Driveaway Dolls is a refreshingly frank and very funny movie that recalls last years Bottoms with a hint of Raising Arizona for good measure. That last part, obviously, comes from the fact that Driveaway Dolls is a rare solo directorial effort from one of the Coen Brothers. Working with screenwriter Tricia Cooke, the comic sensibilities of a classic Coen Brothers take on a modern, LGBTQ friendly sensibility that makes the whole film feel fresh, even as the movie is set in 1999.

Driveaway Dolls stars Geraldine Viswanathan as Marian and Margaret Qualley as Marian's best friend, Jamie. The two could not be more different. Marian is uptight and sexually repressed, while Jamie seeks sex as if it were her profession. As we join the story, Jamie is in the midst of cheating on her girlfriend, Sukie (Beanie Feldstein). and thus, getting kicked out of her apartment. As for Marian, she's grown weary of life in New York and plans to escape to Tallahassee and the loving arms of her aunt.

With nowhere to live and nothing better to do, Jamie decides that she's going to Tallahassee with Marian, despite not being invited. Jamie however, has a way to get them there cheap. The two go to Curly's Driveaways, owned by the gruff but lovable, Curly (Bill Camp). Just as the girls are arriving, Curly has finished a phone call. He is to give two people a specific car to take to Tallahassee and since Marian and Jamie happen to be going to Tallahassee, Curly assumes they are the ones taking the car.

Unfortunately for Curly, he's wrong. He's given out the wrong car to the wrong duo and Chief (Colman Domingo) is not happy about it. He needs that car back as it is carrying sensitive blackmail material. If you've seen the trailer, you might think you know exactly what the girl's are carrying. I assure you, you have no idea what is in the briefcase and brown satchel that are the McGuffins that drive the plot of Drivaway Dolls. You cannot possibly guess what the girl's are carrying and when you find out, it's quite a good laugh.

I mentioned sex before and you should prepare yourself. Driveaway Dolls is not for the prudish. The film isn't brimming with nudity but the frank sexuality, specifically lesbian sexuality, is a major part of the film. Jamie loves sex and pursues it with multiple different women, successfully. She's also trying to get Marian to loosen up and get some and this leads to some wonderfully awkward moments along with some genuinely tender and quite funny moments as well. The payoff for all of the sex in Driveaway Dolls is actually very sweet and unexpected and part of the film's overall charm.

I absolutely adore Driveaway Dolls. It's raunchy, it's sexy, it's funny. It has great performances from the entire cast with Matt Damon delivering a standout cameo. Again, you won't be able to predict what Damon is up to in this plot but it is quite funny. He, along with Pedro Pascal, and one more cameo that hasn't quite been spoiled for most audiences yet, appear to be having a blast with their subplot and the fun is palpable. Meanwhile, Qualley and Viswanathan carry the film with pizazz and charisma. Qualley is a refreshingly odd and forward actress who finds new depths with every performance.

Driveaway Dolls is among the first great movies of 2024.

Find my archive of more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at Find my modern review archive on my Vocal Profile, linked here. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog on Twitter at SeanattheMovies. Listen to me talk about movies on the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast. If you have enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my writing on Vocal. If you like to support my writing, you can do so by making a monthly pledge or by leaving a one time tip. Thanks!

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About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast I am a voting member of the Critics Choice Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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