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Etan Coan of the Coan Bro duo, “Drive-Away Dolls”

    Directed by a solo Etan Coan of the Coan Bro duo, “Drive-Away Dolls” seems to believe it’s funnier than it is, much to the disappointment, given the commendable efforts of the cast, especially the leads Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan. Qualley portrays the free-spirited Jamie, while Viswanathan embodies the stressed Marian, both seeking a change in their lives. They embark on a journey from Philadelphia to Tallahassee, unaware of a suitcase in the trunk coveted by gangsters.

    Unfortunately, the film lacks unpredictability or humor, as Coan stumbles over-familiar tropes from the 1950s and 60s, referencing lesbian paperback sleaze and hippie exploitation films. Despite brief appearances by Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon, the film struggles to engage the audience. Admittedly, there’s one joke involving Damon’s genuinely amusing character, but it’s a long haul to reach that point. Beanie Feldman is underutilized in a role that doesn’t do justice to her talent, playing Qualley’s ex.

    Tony M.