Riding In Cars With Boys

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

This autobiographical story by Beverly Donofrio (Drew Barrymore) paints a very realistic picture of the consequences of teenage sex. She's the daughter of two loving parents played by James Woods and Lorraine Bracco, who are furious and embarrassed when 15-year-old Bev announces she is pregnant. Bev's dreams of a college scholarship fade into harsh realities of dirty diapers, a drug-addicted husband Ray (Steve Zahn) and many disappointments. RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS has many funny moments as Bev vacillates between an immature, self-centered young mother and a woman determined to fulfill her dream. Unfortunately, it takes over two hours and 20 years for her to grow up. Many may find it too realistic to be called a comedy.

Brutal honesty about the author's faults as well as her strengths includes the suffering of Bev's bright, sensitive son Jason (played by Adam Garcia as a 20-year-old). When he's six, his beloved dad walks out, and his mother's relentless determination to become a writer leaves her with little time for Jason. Bev's close relationship with her father turns sour because of her poor choices, but the loyalty of her close friend Fay (Brittany Murphy) sustains her. Fay also becomes pregnant at age 15, marries and divorces. The two experiment with sex and liquor in high school, and as young mothers smoke pot and pop pills. Ray's tragic drug addiction robs him of a family he truly loves. Teenagers drinking, groping each other and obsessed with sex provides some of the film's humor even though the consequences are anything but funny. When only about 11, Bev tells her father she wants a bra, not a bicycle for Christmas, so the boys will notice her. Although there is no nudity, teenage sex is implied by motions and noises. Some foul language includes four s-words and a finger gesture by a 6-year-old boy. Today's sophisticated teenagers may think the messages about the consequences of immoral behavior in RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS applied "back then" but are no longer relevant. Let's hope not.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times Moderate

Obscene Language: Several (7) times - S-word 4, other 2, obscene gesture 1

Profanity: Few (2) times Regular (swear to G, J)

Violence: Few times Moderate (boys fight, man cuts hand, girl attempts miscarriage by falling down stairs)

Sex: Implied few times (teenagers in backseat of car, sounds and motion)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (preteen girls practice kissing, preteen asks father for bra, teenagers groping and kissing at parties, crude terms for woman's coldness and pregnancy)

Drugs: Many times (teenagers drinking, drunkenness at parties; drug addiction treated negatively; women pop pills and smoke pot)

Other: Negative consequences of teenage sex, drugs, alcohol; importance of family and friendship stressed

Running Time: 132 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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