Riding in Cars with Boys (2001, USA) C-132m. ** D: Penny Marshall. Starring Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia, Brittany Murphy, James Woods, Lorraine Bracco, Rosie Perez, Sara Gilbert, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Biography of a woman (Barrymore) who grew up in the 1960s, whose writing talent was hindered by an early pregnancy (at 15) and subsequent marriage to the wrong guy (Zahn). Story is told in retrospect by her son. Earnest drama with equally earnest performances offers lots of period flavor, but its pace flags in mid-section and film becomes too serious for it own good. It's overlong, too.


© Ron Altman