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Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)

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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)
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


Beverly could've had it all. Instead, she had a son. 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)


$29,781,453 (USA) (7 December 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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 Bev talks to Ray in his car the first night they meet, the position of Beverly's arm changes throughout the scene. See more »


Raymond Hasek: [to young Jason] You're gonna hear a lot of bad things about me, but only two of the three things are gonna be right.
See more »


Referenced in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »


Joy to the World
Written by Hoyt Axton
Performed by Three Dog Night
See more »

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User Reviews

Real life is brutal.
1 January 2003 | by (Denver, CO, USA) – See all my reviews

I admit that I watched this movie for the most frivolous of reasons: I liked Brittany Murphy's performance in the trailer ("My daughta's a tramp!"). I really never cared for Drew Barrymore, before. However, my opinion of her has changed. Drew put in an INCREDIBLE performance in this movie. She really nailed it. In fact, all of the actors gave commendable performances. I was so moved that I was quite uncomfortable for much of the movie. The pain that was portrayed was so real that I almost regretted purchasing what I thought was supposed to be a comedy. I'm glad I got through it - and an hour later I'm still stunned by what I saw. This movie is well worth seeing.

Perhaps the reviewers who hated it don't understand that you can be repulsed by another person's behavior, but you don't have to agree with them. You don't have to accept their morals (or lack thereof) in order to recognize what they are going through. And perhaps in seeing these roles acted out, you will see someone you know who has touched your life. Perhaps you'll even see yourself. I profess to have high moral standards, but I was not offended by this movie. I just felt very sad. I've known people like these characters. I don't feel that they were trying to justify their decisions.

They were just telling a story. I also think that this movie was a kind of therapy for Beverly, who is standing up, triumphantly, shouting, "I went through a lot of crap and I made it!"

Sure the viewer gets beaten up by this movie, but in a respectful way.

This isn't a fairy tale. This is a story about real life. And real life is brutal.

53 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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