By Erin Richter
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:55 AM EDT

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.

Riding in Cars with Boys

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 132 minutes
  • Penny Marshall