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Real Women Have Curves (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 November 2002 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,546 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 108 user | 76 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

This is the story of Ana, a first generation Mexican-American teenager on the verge of becoming a woman. She lives in the predominately Latino community of East Los Angeles. Freshly ... See full summary »

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Title: Real Women Have Curves (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lourdes Perez ...
Jorge Cervera Jr. ...
Felipe de Alba ...
Grandfather
José Gerardo Zamora Jr. ...
Edgar Lujan ...
...
Celina Belizan ...
Glitz Receptionist (as Celina Belazin)
Ramona Garcia Coronado ...
Singing Woman
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Storyline

This is the story of Ana, a first generation Mexican-American teenager on the verge of becoming a woman. She lives in the predominately Latino community of East Los Angeles. Freshly graduated from high school, Ana receives a full scholarship to Columbia University. Her very traditional, old-world parents feel that now is the time for Ana to help provide for the family, not the time for college. Torn between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage she agrees to work with her mother at her sister's downtown LA sewing factory. Over the summer she learns to admire the hardworking team of women who teach her solidarity and teamwork. Still at odds with what her mother expects of her, Ana realizes that leaving home to continue her education is essential to finding her place proudly in the world as an American and Chicana. Written by smbuvideo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Real women take chances, have flaws, embrace life...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

8 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Real Women Have Curves  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$183,772 (USA) (18 October 2002)

Gross:

$5,844,929 (USA) (28 March 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers put out a casting call for girls who were "fat" or "overweight", and had thousands of girls show up who were clearly not fat or overweight, but all thought that they were. See more »

Goofs

Ana's boyfriend, about to graduate from high school, says he will now go to "Teachers College." Teachers College is a graduate school only; it has no undergraduate program. See more »

Quotes

Carmen: [In Spanish] I love you, that's why I make you misrable.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.174 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Sentirse Amado
Written by Fernando Romay Esquerra
Performed by Fernando Romay Esquerra
Courtesy of Yameto Music Production
See more »

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User Reviews

Feminism, Family, Tradition, Love - A Brilliant Film!
27 October 2002 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

"Real Women Have Curves" deserves the by-word-of-mouth breakthrough success earned by "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Both deal with traditional families coping with a less than compliant young daughter but the differences between the films are real and this movie is a stunning, attention-grabbing, beautifully acted tale of coming of age.

Ana (America Ferrara) is graduating high school in L.A. and not just any high school. She's a Latina from a working class family who made it into Beverly Hills H.S. Her favorite teacher urges not only that she attend college but that she apply to Columbia University. She's also what some would describe as full-figured. That's just one of the obsessions of her mother, Carmen (Lupe Ontineros), herself a rather large lady. Incessantly, publicly and crudely hounding her daughter about her weight and other shortcomings, mostly imagined, Carmen can win the annual Witch of the West award with ease.

Ana goes to work - no choice - in her older sister's dress assembly factory. The sister, Estela (Ingrid Oliu), is always short of cash to meet the payroll and expenses as she puts together for $18 each dresses that will sell in haute couture boutiques for $600 (to Ana's politically correct astonishment). Estela is proud of her work and her factory where she employs Carmen and other Latina women who enjoy a ribald and close friendship. The relationship between Ana and Estela grows as the younger woman begins to understand her sister's pride.

Ana has a boyfriend, an Anglo from an affluent family, but director Patricia Cardoso wisely omits any "West Side Story" clash of cultures to focus on the very believable first love experience of a girl raised, as so many young American women are, to hate their bodies if they don't conform to the Cosmo cover model standard.

Ana matures as the story progresses and the relationships between the family members and among the dress factory workers deepen beautifully. Carmen is a problem. Her treatment of Ana is mean, actually abusive. Taking a page from the stereotypical Jewish mom she manufactures symptoms of many diseases with the acting out passion only possible by a person who will see her hundreth birthday. She's not likeable and yet her cruelty is a projection rather than a mask of her deep love for Ana and the family.

Ana and Carmen are characters that could easily have been played as caricature and that invite overacting. Neither happens. The skill of the leading actresses and the firm vision of the director produce believable women at generational loggerheads.

I have rarely been in so engaged an audience as I was today at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. Sighs, laughs, groans, applause at various points - it seemed like this was supposed to be an interactive screening. Everyone walked out smiling.

Ana and her family are Mexican born or Mexican Americans but the depth of this film goes beyond any ethnic association. Where "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" celebrated the characters' ancestry, "Real Women Have Curves" pays homage to the inner strength and genuine beauty of - women! Ethnicity and thinness be damned!

10/10.




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