Erin Richter
March 22, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Riding in Cars with Boys

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
132 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/19/01
performer
Drew Barrymore, Lorraine Bracco, James Woods, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia, Sara Gilbert, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brittany Murphy, Vincent Pastore
director
Penny Marshall
distributor
Columbia Pictures
author
Morgan Upton Ward
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a C+

In Riding in Cars with Boys, fifteen-year-old Bev (an age stretch, even for the youthful Barrymore) watches her life plans stall in small-town ’60s Connecticut after she gets pregnant and marries the baby’s sweet but no-good father (the impressive Zahn). As an unlikable character who openly and vocally blames her son for most of her problems, Barrymore never truly commits to the role, and instead tries to sell her character as charming without support from the therapy-speak script — which makes her, and director Penny Marshall’s version of Beverly Donofrio’s touching memoir, even harder to buy.

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