‘Drive-Away D**es,’ Sibling Rivalries and Having Fun 

“The greatest films of all time were never made… the greatest loves of all time are over now.” 

Taylor Swift’s discourse on romance tracks surprisingly well onto the recent history of the great Gen X directing duos: The last couple of years have brought about the divorces of the Safdie brothers, Wachowski sisters and — most tragically — the Coen brothers. Creative partnerships tend to be tenuous, and most historic examples (Martin and Lewis, Nichols and May, Powell and Pressburger, to name a few) end with one or both attempting to stake their own claim — or perhaps needing to after the death of one half. Still, this recent crop of breakups, and particularly the first individual projects from Joel and Ethan Coen, represent at once a great tragedy and fascinating subject for interrogation. A duo best marked for their juxtaposition of brilliant wit with bleak subject matter have split up and demonstrated that they each brought something incredibly different to their collaboration. Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth brought the filmmaker’s trademark visual excellence but stripped the exercise of any humor, and the new film from Ethan Coen, Drive-Away Dolls (or D**es, as the final title card and filmmakers call it), cares about little more than getting a laugh out of its audience.