Riding In Cars With Boys (2001) - 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. "
The comedy-drama RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001) is the fresh, funny, touching and unbelievably true story of writer Beverly Donofrio (played by Drew Barrymore, who ages from 15 to 35 in the role), who comes of age in the late 1960s and has her entire life colored by an event that happens when she is 15 years old. Directed by Penny Marshall in her first collaboration with Academy Award®-winning director/producer Jim Brooks since the smash hit "Big (1988)," the story spans over 20 years as it reveals this unlikely heroine's often humorous, occasionally irreverent, always unique personal journey to make something of herself.
It's 1965, and Bev (Barrymore) is a bright and gifted girl whose dream is to one day move to New York City and become a writer. But as a teenager in working-class Wallingford, Connecticut, the daughter of a cop and a homemaker, reading Shakespeare and one too many romance novels is the closest it seems she'll get. Her talent for writing has drawn praise from her teachers and helped fuel her ambition to go to college, but she is also a typical teen-sassy, funny, mercurial, rebellious boy-crazy.
She meets Ray Hasek (Steve Zahn), a tough, not-too-bright 18-year-old dropout, at a party. Rejected by the boy she has a crush on, Bev turns to Ray, who is instantly taken with her, only to be stunned by an unintended and unexpected pregnancy months later.
Now she faces the nightmare of telling her parents. In a "nice" family in a place like Wallingford, unwed motherhood was definitely not embraced. Bev's suggestion that she keep the child and finish high school is thwarted by her stern father (James Woods) and heartbroken mother (Lorraine Bracco). She quits school and agrees to marry Ray to keep family peace. After a woefully awkward wedding ceremony, she and Ray set up housekeeping.
With her new husband working as an air conditioning installer and a carpet layer, and the birth of a baby boy (not her hoped for daughter), Bev is still determined to get her high school diploma and go on to college. The problem: six years into the marriage, she discovers that her husband is a drug addict, and he's spent all the money she has worked so hard to save for college. The marriage dissolves and Ray disappears from her life. Suddenly a single mom with no real career prospects, Bev faces a daunting question: Now what?
RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001) is a bittersweet comedy about Bev's journey and her refusal to be defeated by the hardships she faces. Eventually, she realizes that she and her son, separated in age by only 15 years, have grown from childhood to adulthood together. She also discovers a powerful revelation: what she had once thought of as the obstacles of child rearing have strangely become what have defined her life.
Going back and forth in time-between the adolescent Bev was, and the adult she has become- RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001) is a poignant story laced with humor about a remarkable if slightly imperfect heroine, the obstacles she encounters, and the resilience and defiance that allow her to overcome them.
Columbia Pictures presents a Gracie Films Production, RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001). Based on the book by Beverly Donofrio, the screenplay is by Morgan Upton Ward. Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Brittany Murphy, Adam Garcia, Lorraine Bracco and James Woods. Producers are James L. Brooks, Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Sara Colleton and Laurence Mark. Morgan Upton Ward and Bridget Johnson are executive producers. Co-producers are Timothy M. Bourne, Amy Lemisch and Beverly Donofrio. Supporting cast members include Sara Gilbert, Desmond Harrington, David Moscow, Peter Facinelli, Mika Boorem, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marisa Ryan and Rosie Perez.
Behind-the-scenes talent on RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001) includes Director of Photography Miroslav Ondricek ASC, Production Design by Bill Groom, Editors Richard Marks and Lawrence Jordan, Costume Designer Cynthia Flynt and Music by Hans Zimmer and Heitor Pereira.
RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS (2001) has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements, drug and sexual content.