Riding in Cars with Boys

with Drew Barrymore

Viewed July 20, 2002

Many of us came tonight expecting a video that was primarily "fluff." That's not what we got, and the depth and intensity of the movie showed up in both the questions and the discussion. The depiction of a woman trying to work her way out of poverty, and both the assistance and the roadblocks that others placed in her path, touched some responsive chords in a number of people here.

We started by tackling Question #4, with two participants who are mothers talking about how hard they worked in raising their children. Since the children sometimes felt they were either undernourished or overprotected, it produced a confusing and frustrating and sometimes heart-wrenching situation for the mothers, who did their best and found out that their best didn't seem to be enough.

Someone else described a work situation where they had placed their heart and soul into the job and got fired nonetheless. He said that he put more weight on the opinions of those in authority there (the ones who fired him) than he did on the opinions of his co-workers, all of whom admired and respected his efforts. Now he thinks it might have been a good idea to have trusted his co-worker's opinions more, because he would have then shamed himself less. So he said it wasn't a matter of no one respecting his work; he just unwisely chose whose opinions to listen to, and this led to self-doubt and depression.

Then someone started talking about Question #8, and how not getting things she's asked for made her shy away from asking for anything. After all, if she's not going to get what she asks for, why ask? Someone else shared how that same thinking made her unaware of what she wanted; she pays attention to what others need and can't even identify what she wants.

On a more uplifting note, one woman said that Question #3 reminded her of the GOOD ways she's similar to her parents. Usually we think of the bad ways we're like our parents, and she has noticed that there are plenty of positive characteristics she picked up from them. As she is growing older, she's noticing those similarities more and more.

Here are the questions:


  1. What were the pivotal moments in my life that changed my life direction forever?
  2. How has someone changed my life with just one sentence?
  3. Why do I grow up to be just like my parents?
  4. What are some times in my life where I felt like I did my best but others didn't appreciate that?
  5. How has lack of affection affected me?
  6. How has it felt when I've been accused of being the reason for someone else's mental illness?
  7. How have I allowed others to stop me from living the life I want to live?
  8. How has (not) getting what I've asked for affected my beliefs about life?
  9. How have my beliefs about sex affected me?