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Riding in Cars with Boys This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The life of a 15-year-old girl - what does it entail? School, family, friends ... andpregnancy? Based on Beverly Donofrio's memoir by the same name, "Riding inCars With Boys" offers a peek into the tumultuous life of a Catholicadolescent from Connecticut whose dreams of attending NYU are shattered when shebecomes pregnant.

Told through a series of flashbacks to the 1980s, weexperience crucial moments in Bev's life (Drew Barrymore, in a surprisingly deepportrayal) from her pregnancy and her marriage to her dimwitted junkie boyfriend(Steve Zahn), to raising her son.

Bev has a life she never hoped for, oneof pain and sorrow, but also filled with moments of sheer joy. With theassistance of her mother and stern police father, Bev manages to raise her son,hoping that he may one day live the life of which she was deprived. Asking hergrown son what is troubling him, and hearing, "It doesn't matter. I'm havinga bad day," she offers, "One day can change the rest of yourlife," which is the film's theme.

Even though Barrymore is notbelievable as a 15-year-old, she is credible for the rest of the movie; hercharisma captivates the audience in a performance by which all her others will bemeasured.

"Riding in Cars With Boys" offers a welcome turn forBarrymore, who made her name in "E.T" and "Never BeenKissed." The standout performance of the feature, however, comes fromBrittany Murphy, who plays Bev's best (and also pregnant) friend and illuminatesthe screen with her presence.

Audiences expecting this film to be atear-jerker of a chick flick or another funny teen movie will find a bittersweet,often funny coming-of-age tale of one woman's struggle. In a year filled withover-the-top teen gross-out movies ("American Pie 2," anyone?) this isa pleasant treat. It is not often that you're treated to a film filled with trueemotion, a few chuckles and even a belly laugh. Go see this film, and be sure tobring a friend or a loved one along for the wonderful "ride."




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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