The fault is in a script that can't figure out how to compress 20 years and in a director who always goes for the laugh instead of the truth.
| Original Score: 2/5
One can't stop wondering what trip this pandering seriocomedic drama is on...a self-pitying or egocentric one?
| Original Score: 2.5/4
There's the core of a good, tough movie lost under Marshall's self-indulgence.
| Original Score: 5/10
"Riding in Cars with Boys" has its moments along the way, but it sputters and stalls before completing its journey.
| Original Score: C+
It's never more than a random collection of moments that never pull together.
Feels both forced and erratic, like an old Buick missing on all cylinders.
Marshall's film, hobbled by a miscalculated and often superficial script by Morgan Upton Ward, is mostly a wasted opportunity.
Marshall ... regularly downshifts the anger in Riding in Cars to low-gear cute every time the road gets good and tough.
You can see how hard it works from top to bottom. But it never quite gets what it wants.
There's a sort of Hallmark tyranny at work.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
The rough edges of Donofrio's life are either ignored or smoothed away, replaced by broad laughs and easy sentiment.
Barrymore appears in nearly every frame ... she seizes the film and doesn't let go, to the point of strangling it to death.
Left a lot of the book's plot on the cutting-room floor in the transition from the page to the screen.
We've suffered through worse chick flicks throughout the years . . .
Lost in a void between rendering tears of joy and tears of laughter.
Riding in Cars With Boys might move around a lot, but it isn't quite as fun a trip as it initially appears it will be.
Penny Marshall is certainly not the right filmmaker for this material--at least if you'd like it to be something more than a trite tearjerker.
| Original Score: C