Pop Culture Fix: Lesbian Road Trip Movie “Drive-Away Dolls” Trailer Is Finally Here After 15 Years In Development

Lesbian Road Trip Comedy “Drive-Away Dolls” Drops First Trailer

Drive-Away Dolls follows Jamie (Margaret Qualley), an “uninhibited free spirit” distraught over a recent breakup, and her best friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan), who’s just uptight in general and could use a little adventure, as they set off together on an impulsive road trip to Tallahassee, delivering a car for a “car drop service.” But then! Things go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals who have stored criminal objects in said car. Queer actor Beanie Feldstein is also in the film and local favorite Pedro Pascal will apparently make an appearance of some kind.

What’s interesting is that this project has been in development for a really long time! Coen originally pitched this film idea to Allison Anders while enjoying a Christmas together in San Francisco in the early 2000s. The movie was announced in 2007 — then titled Drive-Away Dykes — and Anders was on board to direct. Anders is a bit of a legend — she directed Gas Food Lodging and Mi Vida Loca as well as eps of Sex and the City and The L Word. Coen was going for a tone akin to early 1970s exploitation romance films he saw as a kid. The tagline was “Women on the road. All kinds of action.” Stars attached to the project over the years include Selma Blair, Holly Hunter, Christina Applegate, and Chloë Sevigny.  This was the original plot:

When Marion, a skirt-chasing party girl, gets kicked out after her cop girlfriend finds her in bed with another woman, she convinces her buttoned-down friend Jamie to let her come along on a get-away-for-a-few-days drive-away car assignment from Philadelphia to Miami. Packed along for the ride are Jamie’s crush on Marion, Marion’s unrelenting desire to cruise every lesbian bar on the eastern seaboard, and — since this is Coen territory — a severed head in a hatbox, a mystery briefcase full of plaster phalluses, a melange of angry pursuers, an evil senator, a bitter ex-girlfriend and loads of hot boyless sex.

Anders told The Los Angeles Times in 2007 that she was “particularly eager to film sequences like the girls’ encounter with a women’s soccer team at a basement party.” She promised the film would be bold, smart, brave and funny. The Coen brothers wrote the script together — their first — as a “spare time kind of thing” around other projects. It’s unclear what happened between the 2007 false start and the film’s more genuine launch in 2022.

The new script has been co-written by Coen and his wife Tricia Cooke, and the film being set in 1999 is “the final remnant of the project’s original intent.” In 2022, it was reported that the film was indeed somehow still happening, but now Coen was directing, instead of Anders. Coen said of his inability to get the project moving in the 2000s: “I think 20 years ago, we could’ve gotten an important lesbian movie made. But this is an unimportant lesbian movie. That just didn’t compute then.”

It was originally slated to debut in September 2023, which has now been postponed to February 2024.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3200 articles for us.


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