Riding in Cars With Boys Reviews
The story is set over about thirty years, starting in the 60's when Bev is a child and going through to the 80's when she is in her 30's. During this time, we see that she was a precocious child with a talent for writing who finds herself pregnant in her teens and married to the father of her son, who is not a guy she probably would have found herself with under normal circumstances. Bev's dreams of going to uni are crushed and her relationship with her father strained as she tries to make a go of her life. Needless to say, she is not the best mum and the issues of resentment towards her child are dealt with very honestly and well. It makes her unlikeable to a lot of people, to me it shows she is human. I don't think you ever seriously doubt that she loved her child, even when she doubts it herself, but certainly there are times that she hasn't liked him, and honestly, I think most people would have felt the same, such as the situation where her son blows her interview for her. Though you do feel sorry for her son, after all none of it is his fault, he is only a child and it seems he has way too much responsibility way before his time, you also feel sorry for Bev as you see yet another dream die for her. (Well, I did anyhow). After all, she was practically a child herself when she became pregnant.
The cast are all excellent here. It was sad to watch Brittany Murphy in this as Fay, Bev's best friend, who also finds herself pregnant and married off at a young age (yet somehow she comes out of it better than Bev does). Brittany was such a good actress and is perfect here. Steve Zahn also excellent as Bev's husband, Ray, who ends up a junkie. Nice small role by Sara Gilbert as one of her school friends and Adam Garcia also cast well as Bev's adult son.
This movie does somehow manage to have a nice ending. I know a few people consider it corny, but I liked it. I liked that things did pick up a little for Bev in the end, and that her son, Jason, found happiness (with a very young Maggie Gyllenhaal. I did not even remember her being in this, which shows how long ago I watched it!), and was able to feel less responsible for his mother. I have not read the book it is based on, so I am not sure how true this is to that, but a really inspiring true story.
You'll laugh, and you probably will cry, and you might even call your mother. :)
If you have a chance, go through the movie a second time with Drew Barrymores excellent DVD commentary.
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia, Brittany Murphy, James Woods.
An odd, but sweet, hilarious and witty film about a woman with a dream to be a writer, but gets pregnant at the age of 15 and struggles through life for years to come (I will not ruin it for people who have not seen it).
But with positives about this film comes the negatives....the film is definitely flawed. It appears that the book this is based on (which is the book written by the character in the film) has been cut down immensely and it shows in scenes that just don't flow and you just have to think that little bit more to stay up with it all, so it does jump around a bit. Also another problem is the pace of the film, at 130 minutes, it feels way to long (can't imagine them adding anymore cut scenes) and I think the main reason with pace in any film is the director. But Drew Barrymore does give a multi dimensional performance, going through 3 stages of life covered in the film and I will also give credit to Steve Zahn as well for a strong performance.
The makeup is also very impressive, making each section in their lives look realistic (Beverley and Ray at ages 15, 22 and in their 30's) and the ending stays strong and adds to the message of the film. Well done.