DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS – Review by T. J. Callahan

Free spirit Jamie and buttoned up Marian set out on a spur of the moment trek to Tallahassee to break free from former relationships and start anew. Things quickly go wrong when they discover their rental car is carrying even more baggage than they thought…a highly sought after silver attaché. A pair of bumbling wannabe tough guys are soon assigned to the case of retrieving the case which puts the Dolls in danger. Audiences should make sure they buckle up for this barnstorming journey as Drive-Away Dolls takes us on a wild ride of not just criminal capers, but sexual exploration and the tools that can go with it. This film is a phallic farce full of dings and dongs that may make even the uninhibited squirm.

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DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS – Review by Diane Carson

Ethan Coen revives a trashy, B-movie world in Drive-Away Dolls. Fans of Ethan Coen can reliably predict his nonconformist approach in subject and style to his unique, memorable creations. That knowledge certainly informs his latest, Drive-Away Dolls, co-written with Tricia Cooke, Ethan’s wife. According to this month’s American Cinematographer, Coen says he fully intended to make a low-budget “trashy movie.” He succeeds stylistically and thematically in this disjointed road adventure.

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THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY – Review by Sherin Nicole

The Broken Hearts Gallery has an adorable set up. We meet three best friends, in a high school bedroom, sorting through the remains of a dead relationship. The banter is witty and fresh. The actresses, Geraldine Viswanathan, Phillipa Soo, and Molly Gordon, sparkle. And the premise is inventive—built on a young woman who memorializes relationships via quirky keepsakes: retainers, used Solo cups, doorknobs, neckties, and a collection of chachkies that would impress several grandmas.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 29, 2010: HALA

Just like romcoms, coming-of-age dramas often feel so familiar that it’s easy to be tempted to write them all off as trite or predictable. And then along comes a smart, engaging film like “Hala,” which brings fresh energy to the whole genre simply by reminding us how many diverse coming-of-age stories we haven’t yet heard.

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HALA -Review by Loren King

Writer-director Minhal Baig’s feature debut is anchored by a heroine unique enough to catch attention and complex and engaging enough to hold it. Hala (Geraldine Viswanathan) is a 17-year-old high senior in the Chicago suburbs going through the usual coming of age tribulations: there’s college, sex, love, identity and breaking away from strict parental control. But as a Pakistani American Muslim who wears her hijab while skateboarding and appreciates literature such as Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” with a clear and understated eloquence, Hala is a character we’ve rarely seen on screen.

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HALA – Review by Sheila Roberts

Coming of age is an angst-filled journey of self-discovery for any teenager, but in Apple’s new indie drama, Hala, it’s especially daunting for a sensitive, curious 17-year-old first generation Pakistani American (Geraldine Viswanathan) who finds herself navigating uncharted waters. Hala struggles to forge her young adult identity while confronting the challenges of dual cultures and trying to meet her parents’ (Purbi Joshi, Azad Khan) rigid expectations. Her desire to integrate as a young American girl conflicts with her family’s traditional cultural and religious values. Hala is a fantastic film that you should not miss.

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