Movie reviews: “Riding in Cars with Boys”

Most critics are applying the brakes to Riding in Cars With Boys,
starring Drew Barrymore and directed by Penny Marshall.

Rita Kempley in the
Washington Post comments that the movie “is hardly out of the
driveway before director Penny Marshall loses control. The vehicle sputters
along as if somebody’d put sugar in its tank and finally stalls out in the
middle of one of heroine Drew Barrymore‘s many crying jags.”

Kenneth Turan
in the Los Angeles Times thinks that the movie could have been a
contender. “Buried under the miscalculations, the shamelessness, the
off-putting and inappropriate broadness are sporadically visible souvenirs
of a good project gone bad, hints of the unusual, bittersweet story that got
away,” he writes.

And Gary Thompson in the Philadelphia Daily News
calls it “the first four-hankie movie — two to plug up the ears, two to
cover the eyes.”

But Claudia Puig in USA Today suggests that the film
isn’t all that bad. The movie, she says, “should please audiences
with a story that draws viewers in, even if it unfolds a bit too

And Philip Wuntch in the Dallas Morning News is also
willing to say a few nice things about it, to wit: “Riding in Cars With Boys flows with strong individual moments that help the patchy
screenplay achieve a sense of unity.”

And Roger Ebert in the Chicago
gives it a thumbs up. “A film like this is refreshing and
startling in the way it cuts loose from formula and shows us confused lives
we recognize,” he concludes