YMMV / Riding in Cars with Boys

  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The final scene, in which Bev reconciles with her father, as they both drive home together. What makes it all the more special is that they both sing along to the song "All I Have to do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers, just as they did at the beginning of the film.
  • Idiot Plot: Deliberately invoked with Deliberate Values Dissonance: If Bev's father didn't isolate the family like she was the black sheep of the family for getting pregnant early on and was more supportive of them, Bev could have potentially have fared much better with Jason and could have possibly balanced family with work (potentially even College). In the time of the movie's setting, teenage pregnancy would earn someone the black sheep label as Bev's father did; but in the more modern times, many families are willing (sadly, not ALL families) to help raise the grandchild while the parent tackles multiple jobs or even balanced college.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bev. Although her father's (and society in general) treatment of her was awful and living with Ray was difficult, it still wasn't any excuse to treat Jason like she did and blame him for all her problems.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: As sad as Beverly's life has been, she comes off as pretty unlikable throughout the film. Aside from her foolish decisions and getting with a guy like Ray, she's pretty neglectful and emotionally abusive towards Jason, who preferred his father over her; he may have been a lazy addict, but he was more affectionate and sensitive with him. Also, nothing in her life ever seemed to be her fault (which Jason even lampshaded) and she suffered from a huge case of Small Name, Big Ego.
    • Ray's not exactly off the hook either. Ray may have come across as a likable guy, but he had his own issues he was never going to recover from and Bev, for all her faults and arrogance, knew down the line that Ray would have caused more harm than helped. Jason liked him; but that was only because Ray was going to let him do whatever he wanted.