Riding In Cars With Boys (12)

Review by Sarah Pinion and Jennifer Bench

SPANNING a period of over 20 years, this comedy-drama (based on a true story) follows the life of writer Beverly Donofrio. From her adolescent years in the 60s, we witness the life changing moments which shape her future and the person she becomes.

Beverly (Drew Barrymore) falls pregnant at the age of 15 and her fate seems to be determined by both the social pressures of the 60s and her father's (James Woods) lack of support and his emotional rejection. The film centres on the parent/child relationship and the parallels between the two generations.

We see Beverly's father trying to live out his dreams through his daughter and in the same way Beverly trying to live out her unfulfilled dreams through her son. The basic concept of the story is a simple one, teenage girl gets pregnant, marries the high-school drop out, then kicks him out when he becomes a junkie.

But there is more to this film than at first meets the eye. The real story is that of the complex relationship between parent and child and the countless opportunities that we can make and lose every day.

Barrymore leads a superb cast, with excellent performances from Woods and the gorgeous Adam Garcia (from Coyote Ugly). Definitely a film for the girls, it will really pull at your heart strings.

The soundtrack is also brilliant with classic songs from the 60s, such as 'I Got You Babe', to hits from the 80s such as 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'.

If you're expecting another Wedding Singer, however, you will be disappointed. This is not a 'laugh out loud' film. But it does have some comic moments, as well as some real tear jerking ones, for which director Penny Marshall should be applauded.