03/11/1999 AT 12:00 AM EST
Penny Marshall is close to committing to direct the comic drama "Riding in Cars with Boys," based on a book by Beverly D'Onofrio. The idea is to have Drew Barrymore star in the movie. The story focuses on the lifelong relationship between a single mother (who has aspirations of becoming a writer) and the son she gave birth to in 1968 at the age of 15. The protagonist goes through a failed marriage, and the baby's father is a drug addict. If the talks work out with Barrymore, says Variety, the film will provide the actress with her most serious role yet.