Riding in Cars With Boys (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Riding in Cars With Boys (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Riding in Cars With Boys suffers from mixing grit and pathos with cuteness and comedy. Ironically, many critics found Zahn's character more compelling and three-dimensional than Barrymore's.

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Movie Info

After failing to get into college, Beverly Donofrio loses interest in everything but riding around town in cars, drinking, smoking and rebelling against authority. After becoming pregnant, marrying, then divorcing, she must cope with being a teenage single parent. She finally ends up at an elite New England university where she tries to reach a balance between her mistakes and her goals.

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Cast

Drew Barrymore
as Beverly Ann Donofrio
Steve Zahn
as Raymond Haseck
Adam Garcia
as Jason Donofrio
Brittany Murphy
as Farina Forrester
James Woods
as Leonard `Pop' Donofrio
Lorraine Bracco
as Eileen Donofrio
Maggie Gyllenhaal
as Amelia (age 20)
Mika Boorem
as Beverly (Age 11)
Marisa Ryan
as Janet (age 19)
Skye McCole Bartusiak
as Amelia (Age 8)
Logan Lerman
as Jason Donofrio (age 8)
Cody Arens
as Jason (Age 6)
Logan Arens
as Jason (Age 3)
Celine Marget
as Janet (Age 8)
Vincent Pastore
as Uncle Lou
Robin Paul
as Student
Alissa Dean
as Townie Girl No. 1
Jessica Leshnower
as Townie Girl No. 2
Lauren Lake
as Karen's Friend
Gabriel Carpenter
as Sky Barrister
Vincent De Paul
as Linebacker No. 1
Joseph Cassese
as Linebacker No. 2
Kevin O'Rourke
as Jail Ward
Susan Forristal
as Mrs. Forrester
John Bedford Lloyd
as Mr. Forrester
Paz de la Huerta
as 1st Phone Call Flirt
Olivia Morgan Scheck
as Janet (age 12)
Dusty Rizzo
as Wedding Singer Tony
Carl Capotorto
as Cop No. 1
Robert Greenhut
as Cop No. 2
Heather Hodder
as Donofrio Cousin
Joseph M. Cannizaro
as Jason (newborn)
Noah Hartwick
as Jason (newborn)
Briana Tilden
as Jason (as a baby)
Skye Casey Arens
as Jason (age 1)
Patrick Salerno
as Jason (age 2)
Robert Salerno
as Jason (age 2)
Samantha Reale
as Amelia (age 3)
Jon Korkes
as Counselor
Samantha Lucier
as Amelia (age 6)
Gaetano Lisi
as Sweeny's Owner
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Critic Reviews for Riding in Cars With Boys

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (32)

Beverly is supposed to be a bad girl running with the wrong crowd, but most of the time she seems to be right out of a serioso episode of Laverne & Shirley.

January 22, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The rough edges of Donofrio's life are either ignored or smoothed away, replaced by broad laughs and easy sentiment.

October 29, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A film with honesty, sincerity and a great big heart.

Full Review… | October 24, 2001
New York Observer
Top Critic

There's a sort of Hallmark tyranny at work.

October 19, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

The movie may be based on Beverly Donofrio's memoir of the '60s, but it misses the honesty and grit of the source.

October 19, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Despite being scrubbed almost spotless, the story still makes its mark.

Full Review… | October 19, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Riding in Cars With Boys

Barrymore doesn't look really convincing neither as a dreamy teenager nor as a frustrated 35-year-old mother who threw away her dream, and even though the movie develops its characters as complex people with real problems like those found in real life, the end is disappointing.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

All time favourite of mine that I have not watched in a long time. Rewatching it was just as good - I love the honesty of this true story and the flaws of Bev, played wonderfully by Drew Barrymore. I know a lot of people do not like it, but a lot of people seem to want everything to be nice all the time, especially in movies, and people aren't like that in real life. 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.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A very good representation of the not so wedded bliss many mothers went through in low income housing and troublesome husband during the days of teen pregnancies. Nowadays we have an entire cavalcade of shows dedicated to this subject, and so it is very hard to take this story and its subject seriously without being partial. Barrymore, with a bit of class and humor, makes the movie and all its eccentricities not only barely, but great to watch. It's amazing how enjoyable this movie truly was.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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