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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.


Penny Marshall


Beverly D'Onofrio (book), Morgan Ward (screenplay) (as Morgan Upton Ward)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Drew Barrymore ... Beverly Donofrio
Steve Zahn ... Ray Hasek
Adam Garcia ... Jason
Brittany Murphy ... Fay Forrester
James Woods ... Mr. Leonard Donofrio
Lorraine Bracco ... Mrs. Teresa Donofrio
Rosie Perez ... Shirley Perro
Sara Gilbert ... Tina Barr
Peter Facinelli ... Tommy Butcher
Mika Boorem ... Beverly Donofrio - Age 11
Celine Ordioni Celine Ordioni ... Janet Donofrio - Age 8 (as Celine Marget)
Vincent Pastore ... Uncle Lou
Maryann Urbano Maryann Urbano ... Aunt Ann
Alissa Dean ... Townie Girl #1
Jessica Leshnower 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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 October 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riding in Cars with Boys See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »


Box Office


$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,404,652, 21 October 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Brittany Murphy and David Moskow also star together in Just Married in 2003 See more »


When Bev and Faye are on the street discussing how to tell Bev's parents that she is pregnant, a woman with glasses walking with a man passes them twice in the same direction. See more »


Beverly: [Bev is changing Jason] Aaaaah! Aaaaah!
[Races to the bathroom and starts brushing her teeth]
Mrs. Teresa D'Onofrio: What? What happened?
Beverly: He peed in my mouth!
Mrs. Teresa D'Onofrio: [laughs] Ha ha ha. Jason, you make your grandma so happy.
See more »


Features The Andy Williams Show (1962) See more »


I Wanna Love Him so Bad
Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Performed by Assorted Jelly Beans
See more »

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User Reviews

If you want to know the real story read the book
23 July 2004 | by Kristinartist79See all my reviews

Although the plot and the characters are the same as in the book, the story had changed a lot. First of all, Beverly's parents did not force her to get married. In fact, they encouraged her to live with them so they could help support the baby instead of getting married. In the book, her parents were NOT supportive of her dream to go to college, which was a big part of the book that was left out. It was also Beverly's excuse for getting pregnant. I understand they leave parts out of a movie to edit it but they totally changed it. Also, the movie did not show how guilty Beverly was. They did not show her smoking pot with her husband and their friends almost every night. They did not show (except for when the husband was sick) that neither one of them worked and they were on welfare smoking pot all day, not taking care of the kids. I have the movie on tape and its great but a totally changed story. I understand, it was the 60s and 70s and a lot of people did drugs, but it still made her a bad mother and worst than the Beverly in the book.

The part about her trying to get a scholarship never happened. In fact, she never even mention "doing everything she can to get them out of there." (Something she said throughout the movie) She did not even make her husband get a job! She went to college way after she was divorced cause welfare paid for it but there wasn't any scholarship involved. In fact, she was not even a good student at first. But when she finally graduated, she had some job as a secretary or something. It took her a long time for her to do anything with her degree. If she was as practical as she was in the movie, she would have gone to school for something more realistic. And she was so selfish that she put all her money into getting her masters,(like it made a difference if she had one) that she was not going to put her own son into college. You would think she would want to be better than her parents. In the movie, it seemed like she did everything she can to make sure Jason went to N.Y.U. Or course, even in the movie every thing was about her. She did not care about her son's feelings when he saw his father. She seemed a lot more controlling in the movie, not wanting her son to move to a school too far from her. In the book she was more permissive. So anyway, if you want the real story, read the book.

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