Riding In Cars With Boys (2001)

PENNY MARSHALL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 2001.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Gracie Films, Parkway Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , ,.  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

 once again outdoes herself in this heartwarming film based on the autobiography of Beverly D’Onofrio, a woman whose career in writing was set back by a teenage pregnancy and an underachieving husband. Penny Marshall’s direction as usual is sloppy, though the raggedy editing in movies like Renaissance Man and A League Of Their Own is not as painfully obvious here. That said, she could let the film run for twelve hours and we’d be glad, because Barrymore’s performance is so charismatic that you could never get bored of watching her. Her transformation into the thirty-five year-old D’Onofrio isn’t entirely successful thanks to Barrymore’s perpetually youthful visage, but her acting helps puts the character over at all stages.  She is met by a multi-layered and incredibly heart-breaking performance by  as her husband and an excellent Lorraine Bracco in a too-small part as her mother.  is brilliant as her best friend, and James Woods solid as her father (it always surprises me when he’s good at being non-crazies).

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