Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  19 October 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 21,789 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 209 user | 89 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A single mother, with dreams of becoming a writer, has a son at the age of 15 in 1965, and goes through a failed marriage with the drug-addicted father.



(book), (screenplay) (as Morgan Upton Ward)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Leonard Donofrio
Mrs. Teresa Donofrio
Shirley Perro
Tina Barr
Tommy Butcher
Celine Marget ...
Uncle Lou
Maryann Urbano ...
Aunt Ann
Townie Girl #1
Jessica Leshnower ...
Townie Girl #2


Seriocomic story based on the memoir by Beverly Donofrio, the movie follows a young woman who finds her life radically altered by an event from her teen years. Born in 1950, Beverly grew up bright and ambitious in a working-class neighborhood in Connecticut; her father was a tough but good-hearted cop who listened to his daughter's problems, and her mother was a nervous woman eager to imagine the worst. From an early age, Beverly displays a keen intelligence and an interest in literature, and dreams of going to college in New York and becoming a writer. However, she also develops an early interest in boys, and at 15 finds herself madly in love with a boy from her high school. However, an attempt to get his attention leads to an embarassing incident at a party, and Ray, a sweet but thick-headed 18-year-old, steps forward to defend her. Beverly and Ray end up making out, and after one thing leads to another, Beverly discovers she's pregnant. Telling Ray is only marginally less difficult... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One day can make your life; one day can ruin your life. All life is is four or five big days that change everything. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los chicos de mi vida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,404,652 (USA) (19 October 2001)


£671,549 (UK) (21 December 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In her autobiography: My Mother Was Nuts, Penny Marshall explained she quit directing movies after this because her films were about heart, and after 9/11, studios did more action and violent movies and weren't interested in films 'with heart' anymore. See more »


When Jason throws snowballs at the house, two snowballs are on Lizard's car in the close-up shots, but only one is there in wide shots. See more »


Beverly: [changing Jason's diaper] Mommy has to study. I gotta do everything I can to get us out of here... Ugh, Mr. Stinky Pants.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Regina Spektor (2009) See more »


Listen to the Music
Written by Tom Johnston
Performed by The Doobie Brothers
See more »

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User Reviews

A great way to learn about life.
4 July 2006 | by (Nyiregyhaza, Hungary) – See all my reviews

It's a shame that this movie can't be shown in high schools, as an educational video. It would certainly serve a terrific purpose, of how one small mistake can change the rest of your life forever.

Beverly (Barrymore), at fifteen, falls in love with the quarterback of the football team. She decides one night at a party to show her love to him, by presenting him with a poem, she's written for him. Unfortunately, being as naive as she is, she presents it to him, in front of all of his friends, where she is then made fun of. Feeling sorry for herself, and very hurt, she runs upstairs to the bathroom, in the house where the party is taking place, crying. There, she meets the man she will soon fall for, and give herself to, for the very first time. However, this boy is not the boy she wants to marry, but is forced to, by her parents, because she is now pregnant. At fifteen, and married, she is now faced with a new life, and new responsibilities. The movie circles around this new life, and how she is able to overcome so much, with so very little. Her deadbeat husband, small and poor home, young child to raise, and at time hopeless future, all gang up on her, while she tries to overcome all of it. Her dreams are not unrealistic, but rather unreachable because of all the problems and mishaps that happen throughout the next fifteen years of her life.

It's poignant, sweet, funny and honest. There is not one person who will watch this, and not relate to at least one thing from the story. Although it may take place in the 1960s-80s, it's still very true to life, and understandable.

I would recommend it to anyone, and hope that everyone will see the power of a message this film holds. It's really an amazing true story, and there aren't many like this out there.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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