Riding in Cars with Boys

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Based on Beverly Donofrio's memoir about her struggles to juggle fun, family, and her ambition to become a writer - sidetracked by an unplanned teenage pregnancy - this begins in the mid-1980s with thirty-something Beverly (Barrymore) on the verge of success, then cuts back two decades to the point where it all began to go wrong. Enter amiable doofus Ray (Zahn). He's sweet, but not exactly husband material. Trouble is, her strict religious father (Woods) sees things differently - that oh so eloquently penned confession note only makes things worse - and before she knows it, Bev is a mother and housewife deadended just a couple of blocks from where she grew up. The film is not without its curious aspects. Most conspicuously, it's narrated by Bev's grown son (Garcia), which is odd, given the source material. It's almost as if director Marshall decided halfway through that she didn't like her heroine after all. She's clearly revealed to be a lousy mother, though she does get the hell away from Ray eventually. It begins breezily enough, in girls behaving badly mode, but Marshall is more adept at light comedy than drama. The longer Bev's marriage limps on, the duller it gets.

By: TCh

Release details

Duration: 131 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Penny Marshall
Screenwriter: Morgan Upton Ward
Cast: Drew Barrymore
Steve Zahn
Brittany Murphy
Adam Garcia
Lorraine Bracco
James Woods
Sara Gilbert
Desmond Harrington
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