Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)

07 December 2001

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Beverly (Drew Barrymore) loves boys, but she knows her limits--nothing below the waist (her own), if she doesn't know the boy. Ray (Steve Zahn), however, a sweet-natured but shiftless young man is the exception to her rule and shortly after meeting him she ends up pregnant--at age fifteen. At the wedding insisted upon by her disappointed father, Bev finds out her best friend is also pregnant, and the two console each other for the youth they've lost. RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS is a true story based on the autobiography by Beverly D'Onofrio about her youthful days of revelry, rebellion, and teenage motherhood. Barrymore is credible as an Italian-American girl who's far too smart to be stuck where she is in life, but it's Zahn (THAT THING YOU DO) who steals the show in a long-overdue starring turn, with his heartfelt portrayal of a lost little boy who never finds his way to manhood. James Woods is Bev's alienated father. And Lorraine Bracco is her supportive, long-suffering mother who looks after the house, Bev's son Jason, and Ray, while Bev desperately tries for her GED and a scholarship to NYU. It's Bev's drive and unflagging ambition--and Penny Marshall's usual surehanded direction--that turn her hardship into the triumph of survival.

 

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