Riding in Cars with Boys

Bomb Rating: 

Special guest reviewer: Mr. Smiley!

Mr. Smiley's rating:
If I had a third thumb, it'd be up too!

Whenever I see Drew Barrymore on screen, I just want to cry with happiness. She's truly a tribute to the perseverance of human beings, and we could all learn something from her. Just by watching her on screen, I learn a little bit more about life. Remember, she had all those problems as a young person. She was taking drugs, drinking, and I think there might have been some sort of shoot-out with the cops, but even if there wasn't, she's overcome a lot and now she's a big-time movie star and it makes me want to shed a tear. Furthermore, she married that weird Tom Green. And not that I don't think that Tom Green isn't funny, but I think that his marriage to Drew will make everyone's life better. Really, they're like the king and queen of America.

Drew plays Beverly D'Onofrio, a woman who has a baby at the age of fifteen in 1968, yet grows up, overcomes all the challenges she faces in her life, and becomes a writer. This great movie is based on a true story, so there really was a Beverly D'Onofrio who had a kid and grew up and overcame all her challenges. Drew's performance is so convincing, it's almost as if two separate people grew up, had a kid, and overcame their problems. Beverly's two best friends are Fay (Brittany Murphy) and Tina (Sara Gilbert). How nice is Drew to give Sara Gilbert another acting chance? Given Sara's own addiction problems, it's like Drew saw a little bit of herself in Sara and said, "I should give her a chance." And she did!

Some of the challenges Bev faces include trying to live a life as a young mother, dealing with her irresponsible, drug-addicted husband, Raymond (Steve Zahn), and overcoming the stigma thrown on her by society and her parents for being such a teen slut. Her father is played by James Woods. Isn't he so good? It's like every performance he gives should be nominated for an Oscar. When he orders Taco Bell at the drive-through, I'll bet the order-takers are rendered speechless by the power of his performance. Unfortunately, Bev's father isn't all that supportive, but fortunately, at the end, the two of them sing a song and you just know that despite their deep and irreconcilable differences, everything is going to be okay.

This movie is directed by Penny Marshall, who's the sister of director Garry Marshall -- and isn't that a talented family? It really made me feel good to know there's a family out there as talented as the Marshalls and that I've been so fortunate to see the products of the talent they were willing to share with me. "Riding in Cars with Boys" is a movie that lets us know that people can make terrible mistakes early in life, overcome them, and then grow up to get everything they ever wanted out of life. I wouldn't normally ride in cars with boys the way this movie thinks of it, but if it meant learning some great lessons about how to live, I might just do it!

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