Riding in Cars With Boys

Riding in Cars With Boys

3.7 13
Director: Penny Marshall

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Brittany Murphy

     
 

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Penny Marshall directed this serio-comic story, based on the memoir by Beverly Donofrio, about a young woman who finds her life radically altered by an event from her teen years. Born in 1950, Beverly (Drew Barrymore) grew up bright and ambitious in a working-class neighborhood in Connecticut; her father (James Woods) was a tough but good-hearted cop with an… See more details below

Overview

Penny Marshall directed this serio-comic story, based on the memoir by Beverly Donofrio, about a young woman who finds her life radically altered by an event from her teen years. Born in 1950, Beverly (Drew Barrymore) grew up bright and ambitious in a working-class neighborhood in Connecticut; her father (James Woods) was a tough but good-hearted cop with an understanding ear for his daughter's problems, and her mother (Lorraine Bracco) was a nervous woman eager to imagine the worst. From an early age, Beverly displays a keen intelligence and an interest in literature, and she dreams of going to college in New York and becoming a writer. However, she also develops a precocious interest in boys, and at 15 finds herself madly in love with a boy from her high school. However, an attempt to get his attention leads to an embarassing incident at a party, and Ray Hasek (Steve Zahn), a sweet but thick-headed 18-year-old, steps forward to defend her. Beverly and Ray end up making out, and after one thing leads to another, Beverly discovers she's pregnant. Telling Ray is only marginally less difficult than informing her parents, and at 16, Beverly is a wife and mother. Against the odds, Beverly is determined to still finish high school and go on to college, but that goal becomes more difficult with time, especially after Beverly's marriage begins to fall apart; while Ray tries to do the right thing, he has trouble holding a job, and circumstances become all the more difficult when Beverly learns her husband is addicted to heroin. Riding in Cars With Boys also stars Brittany Murphy as Beverly's best friend Fay; Beverly's son Jason is played, at various points in his life, by Adam Garcia (age 20), Logan Lerman (age eight), Cody Arens (age six), and Logan Arens (age three).

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Drew Barrymore demonstrates her versatility and continued willingness to take artistic chances by playing a working-class mom, warts and all, in this generally lighthearted but occasionally moving drama. Barrymore sparkles as Beverly Donofrio, the real-life scribe whose memoirs were slightly laundered for film adaptation. An ebullient but wayward teen, Beverly is impregnated by a well-meaning dullard (Steve Zahn) and raises her child, with a little help from her parents (Lorraine Bracco and James Woods), when her underemployed spouse becomes addled by liquor and drugs. Beverly, who has always dreamed of being a writer, continually tries to enter college, but unexpected maternal emergencies always intrude on her quest for self-improvement. If Beverly sounds like one of Hollywood’s typically noble mothers, she's not: This young woman likes to complain that the fates have conspired to ruin her life, and she’s reluctant to admit that her circumstances were at least partially determined by the bad choices she made. This whiney trait casts her in an unflattering light -- but it also makes her a more believable character. Penny Marshall (A League of Their Own) directs with an awareness of the countless little indignities endured by parents with limited means. Refreshingly disdainful of formulaic narrative contrivances, Riding in Cars with Boys feels a lot closer to the truth and, therefore, a lot more compelling. Barrymore supplies a commentary for the DVD, which also sports four behind-the-scenes featurettes, an HBO making-of documentary, trailers, and production notes.
New York Times
For all its characters' weaknesses, it believes in their essential decency and capacity for love -- and for a good deal of the time it makes us believers, too. Stephen Holden
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

A film like this is refreshing and startling in the way it cuts loose from formula and shows us confused lives we recognize.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2002
UPC:
0043396071292
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Drew Barrymore Beverly Donofrio
Steve Zahn Ray Hasek
Brittany Murphy Fay Forrester
Adam Garcia Jason Donofrio
Lorraine Bracco Mrs. Donofrio
Sara Gilbert Tina
Maggie Gyllenhaal Amelia
James Woods Mr. Donofrio
Desmond Harrington Bobby
David Moscow Lizard
Peter Facinelli Tommy Butcher
Marisa Ryan Janet Donofrio
Mika Boorem Beverly (Age 11)
Skye McCole Bartusiak Amelia (Age 8)
Logan Lerman Jason (Age 8)
Cody Arens Jason (Age 6)
Logan Arens Jason (Age 3)
Celine Marget Janet (Age 8)
Robin Paul Student

Technical Credits
Penny Marshall Director
Julie Ansell Producer
James L. Brooks Producer
Sara Colleton Producer
Lawrence Jordan Editor
Laurence Mark Producer
Heitor Pereira Score Composer
Richard Sakai Producer
Morgan Upton Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Morgan Ward Screenwriter
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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