Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m not married. What should I do? Answer
Pregnancy—Is abortion an option? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
Sex, Love and Relationships (video)
|Featuring:||Drew Barrymore, Brittany Murphy, James Woods, Steve Zahn, Lorraine Bracco|
|Producer:||James L Brooks, Laurence Mark, Sara Colleton, Richard Sakai, Julie Ansell|
Beverly Ann Donofrio shares in her book Riding in Cars with Boys how one day can change your entire life. Her story, subtitled “Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good”, tries to capture some of the attitudes of the 60s. Young people, who did not go off to war, hung out, drank, smoked, rebelled, and sometimes had sex. Donofrio talks frankly about consorting with lowlifes, indulging in drugs, and being promiscuous. She became pregnant at age 15 and married (briefly) before getting divorced. We get a picture of life in a working-class Italian-American family in Wallingford, Conn. Donofrio, who is now a freelance journalist in New York, tells about raising a son, being a single mom, getting off of welfare, and finally graduating from college. It is a story of overcoming barriers and, without a lot of encouragement, making it into adulthood.
“Riding in Cars With Boys” (the film) sends a message that sex outside of marriage does have consequences.
Our story begins in the present. Beverly (Drew Barrymore) has asked her grown son Jason (Adam Garcia) to drive her to meet with her ex-husband Ray Hasek (Steve Zahn). She needs his signature so she can publish her first book. The film is told through a series of flashbacks. They come from both Bev and Jason’s perspective. We see our heroine as a bright and bubbly teenager who is full of promise. The problem is that she has become promiscuous in order to be popular. When a football player humiliates her at a party, Ray comes to her rescue. A few months later, Bev is pregnant and her parents (Lorraine Bracco, James Woods) are extremely disappointed. They help their daughter get married and never fail to underscore their displeasure. Our story continues to unfold and we see Ray evolve into a deadbeat dad. We watch Bev’s classmates reaching their dreams, while hers just always seem to be out of reach. There are plenty of doses of reality given throughout this bittersweet tale.
The film has some negatives. We do see two teens sometimes flaunting their promiscuity. The language is mild and we do witness the effects of verbal, mental, and substance abuse. I do think the film can be used wisely as a deterrent for teens engaging in pre-marital sex. The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the teen pregnancy rate (between ages 15-19) dropped 19% between 1991 and 1997. The fear of AIDS and many organizations encouraging our youth to rediscover abstinence has helped. Some states have created Web sites to help teens learn more about abstinence. New York’s site is www.notmenotnow.org and Florida’s site is www.greattowait.com. I also recommend to parents and teens www.choosingthebest.org and www.truelovewaits.com. Just like 9/11, a day can truly change your entire life.
“…long but ultimately satisfying…
—Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
“…Barrymore brings warmth and passion to every moment she’s on screen…
—Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
“…paints a realistic picture of the consequences of teenage sex…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
“…MESSAGE—Teens who get pregnant can ruin their lives. If you want to change your life, it’s up to you. Motherhood is not a job…
“…a traffic accident of a movie…
—The Globe and Mail