“Drive-Away Dolls”: a proud and funny lesbian detective comedy

“Drive-Away Dolls”: a proud and funny lesbian detective comedy

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One takes responsibility, the other does not. In “Drive-Away Dolls”, a crazy thriller in theaters this Wednesday, Jamie (Margaret Qualley), an inveterate party girl, never hides that she is a lesbian, but has a tendency to choose lovers poorly – the latest is a cantankerous police officer — which she collects and which she parts with losses and clashes. The complete opposite of her friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan), extremely prudish, hiding her side so well. queer that she appears to be eternally single. In a dark mood for opposite reasons, the two New Yorkers decide to take a trip to Florida, to visit Marian’s mother.

But now their rental car contains suspicious and high-value goods belonging to a gang of thugs who will follow in their footsteps. Not fully understanding the issues that threaten them, the two friends, who are getting closer and closer emotionally and sexually, will experience a crazy adventure. They will come across, among others, strange nickel-plated feet, a crooked senator and a group of sportswomen who will turn out to be very good advisors…

A “light” lesbian film without a militant message

Totally delirious road movie, as free and hilarious as one of its heroines, constantly flirting with the codes of film noir, B series and “sexploitation” feature films to better dynamite them, “Drive-Away Dolls” distils, at regular intervals, colorful psychedelic pastilles in the spirit of the 1970s. This is Ethan Coen’s first solo fiction since he no longer co-signs his feature films with his brother Joel, with whom he marked the history of American cinema with cult gems such as “Blood Simple”, “Barton Fink”, “Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski” or “No Country for Old Men”.

If we find their extravagant and offbeat spirit here, there is added an essential dimension: the sexual orientation of the heroines, all the more assumed as “Drive-Away Dolls” announces itself as the first of a “trilogy lesbian.” Characteristic that we owe to Tricia Cook, long-time partner of the Coen brothers and wife of the director. She serves as co-writer, producer and editor, and defines herself as “queer”. It was she who wanted a “light” lesbian film without a militant message: as such, the mission is perfectly accomplished.

Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Miley Cyrus…

For the rest, Ethan Cohen remains, even without his brother, a leader in terms of shooting and directing actors. To the greatest pleasure of the spectator, we see, in short but lively participations, big names such as Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal and even Miley Cyrus, while the supporting roles are played by famous faces from Hollywood. As for the leading duo, Geraldine Viswanathan, seen notably in the series “Miracle Workers”, perfectly portrays a hyper-stuck Marian who will reveal herself throughout the adventure.

But the filmmaker’s best choice is Margaret Qualley. Andie MacDowell’s daughter, already amazing in the series “The Leftovers” and “Maid” or Claire Denis’ feature film “Stars at Noon”, really bursts into the screen here. Playing to the fullest on the discrepancy of her character as a happy-go-lucky New Yorker from Texas whose accent she emphasizes with glee, she excels in the tragic-flamboyant register, making us burst into laughter with each line, greatly contributing to setting up the film in the lesbo-comic register: well done!

Editor’s note:

Drive Away Dolls “,

American police comedy by Ethan Coen, with Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Bill Camp, Pedro Pascal, Matt Damon… (1h24).

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