Riding in Cars With Boys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Riding in Cars With Boys Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 22, 2002
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.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 29, 2001
The rough edges of Donofrio's life are either ignored or smoothed away, replaced by broad laughs and easy sentiment.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 24, 2001
A film with honesty, sincerity and a great big heart.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
October 19, 2001
There's a sort of Hallmark tyranny at work.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
October 19, 2001
The movie may be based on Beverly Donofrio's memoir of the '60s, but it misses the honesty and grit of the source.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 19, 2001
Despite being scrubbed almost spotless, the story still makes its mark.
Top Critic
October 19, 2001
The way that the screenwriter, Morgan Upton Ward, has shaped the material, Donofrio seems a bystander in her own life, a passive (if seething and resentful) victim of forces beyond her control.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 19, 2001
Pick something sunshiny next time, Drew. It's nicer to see you smile.
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
October 19, 2001
Neither Barrymore, who's never played a role this ambitious before, nor director Penny Marshall, who peppers the movie with sight gags and sitcom broadness, ever comes to terms with Beverly.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 19, 2001
Every scene is coated with Marshall's thumbprints, ultimately connecting into a manhandled, mangled, misshapen whole, its themes written out in thunderously obvious cues.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 19, 2001
Even though it outstays its welcome and is quite heavy-handed in its guy-bashing, it benefits from stellar performances by its stars.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
October 19, 2001
You can see how hard it works from top to bottom. But it never quite gets what it wants.
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
October 19, 2001
It strains for bittersweetness, but a heavy directorial hand (wielding a ladle of schmaltz) tends to overwhelm both the humor and the pathos.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
October 19, 2001
Too much of its reality involves joyless response to circumstantial failure, and instead of being ironic or bittersweet, it's mostly bitter.
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 19, 2001
What with a miscast star, a confused director and a cluttered script, Riding in Cars with Boys is a traffic accident of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 19, 2001
A film like this is refreshing and startling in the way it cuts loose from formula and shows us confused lives we recognize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
October 19, 2001
As a flawed but lovably lionhearted woman, Barrymore triumphantly comes of age as an actress.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 19, 2001
For all its characters' weaknesses, it believes in their essential decency and capacity for love -- and for a good deal of the time it makes us believers, too.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz
October 18, 2001
A funny, poignant adaptation of Beverly D'Onofrio's autobiography, and a chick flick that's refreshingly sap-free.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
October 18, 2001
Chalks up victories for Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, director Penny Marshall, and almost its entire supporting cast.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2001
Buried under the miscalculations, the shamelessness, the off-putting and inappropriate broadness are sporadically visible souvenirs of a good project gone bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
October 18, 2001
Left a lot of the book's plot on the cutting-room floor in the transition from the page to the screen.
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
October 18, 2001
There is a complex heroine in here somewhere, but Barrymore and director Penny Marshall are so intent on making her likable that the movie flounders in cheap pathos.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 18, 2001
Marshall ... regularly downshifts the anger in Riding in Cars to low-gear cute every time the road gets good and tough.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 18, 2001
Marshall's film, hobbled by a miscalculated and often superficial script by Morgan Upton Ward, is mostly a wasted opportunity.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 18, 2001
Marshall has fashioned a well-acted diversion, and she wisely chooses humor over treacle in what could have been an overly sentimental tale.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
October 18, 2001
Feels both forced and erratic, like an old Buick missing on all cylinders.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 18, 2001
The kind of film ... that even as it dissolves narratively, still makes you dissolve emotionally.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 18, 2001
What ultimately dooms the film are one-dimensional and searingly bad performances.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 18, 2001
It's never more than a random collection of moments that never pull together.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
October 16, 2001
Marshall's halting sob story strains for cry-till-you-laugh dark comedy.
Top Critic
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
October 15, 2001
Meeting the challenge is Barrymore, who portrays Beverly from ages 15-36 in her finest screen role.