TheWolf's Movie Review of Riding in Cars with Boys

Rating of

Riding in Cars with Boys

Another Penny Marshall Film
TheWolf - wrote on 08/10/07

Drew Barrymore is a girl (Beverly) with a dream to go to college and escape the poorer working class lifestyle and take on the Big Apple, but she is thrust into the world of motherhood, much to the disappointment of her father, played excellently by James Woods. Beverly must sacrifice her original plans and marry her son's father, Ray, portrayed by Steve Zahn. She lacks the motive of love, so when Ray's somewhat good-natured but weak disposition leads him to the prison of drug addiction, her next decision is not too difficult.
Drew Barrymore's likeability and honesty on camera is what makes her role work so well for her. Steve Zahn's portrayal of a hopeless, yet loveable loser is perfect. He has some great talent especially when the roles that he has call for spontaneous comedy. He knows what works and he does a great job. James Woods gives an extraordinary, yet understated performance as a father trying to do what's best but not always succeeding. Others, including Adam Garcia as Beverly's troubled son and Britney Murphy as Beverly's best friend give great, charming performances as well.
This is a movie that effectively and humorously explores how fighting for a dream can sometimes overshadow what is really important in our lives. Beverly must learn that her determined ambition to overcome adversity may also be equally as reckless and sometimes plans for the future must change, and even so, things will not always go according to plan.

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