6.8/10
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89 user 95 critic

Girlfight (2000)

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ON DISC
Diana, without her father knowing it, trains as a boxer and achieves impressive success, blazing new trails for female boxers.

Director:

Karyn Kusama

Writer:

Karyn Kusama
15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Rodriguez ... Diana Guzman
Jaime Tirelli ... Hector Soto
Paul Calderon ... Sandro Guzman
Santiago Douglas ... Adrian Sturges
Ray Santiago ... Tiny Guzman
Víctor Sierra Víctor Sierra ... Ray Cortez
Elisa Bocanegra ... Marisol
Shannon Walker Williams Shannon Walker Williams ... Veronica
Louis Guss Louis Guss ... Don
Herb Lovelle ... Cal
Thomas Barbour Thomas Barbour ... Ira
Graciella Ortiz Graciella Ortiz ... Female Student
J.P. Linton J.P. Linton ... Mr. Price
Iris Little Thomas Iris Little Thomas ... Ms. Martinez
Dadi Pinero Dadi Pinero ... Edward
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Storyline

At 18, Diana has a chip on her shoulder; she's close to expulsion from high school for fighting, her mother is dead, her dad is surly, the popular girls at school set her teeth on edge, she knows men can cause pain. When she picks up her younger brother at a Brooklyn gym where he boxes to please his father, she decides she wants to train. Hector, a coach, reluctantly agrees to teach her. It's soon clear to him that Diana has talent; he pushes her. She spends time with another young fighter, Adrian, who has a girlfriend, but Diana intrigues him and stirs real feelings he tries to articulate. She, too, must accommodate her toughness and ironic detachment to her feelings for him. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Prove them wrong

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A bunyós csaj See more »

Filming Locations:

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$197,896, 1 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,523,941, 19 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After financing fell through shortly before the movie was set to begin shooting filmmaker John Sayles, whom director Karyn Kusama had worked for as an assistant, stepped forward and provided the funding for the entire film. See more »

Goofs

When Adrian is driving Diana home, when they film the little dog, the camera on the hood is visible. See more »

Quotes

Adrian: Why did you train with Hector.
Diana: You mean at all.
Adrian: Yeah.
Diana: Because I want to.
Adrian: Aren't you afraid of gettin' hurt?
Diana: What, and you're not?
Adrian: No, it's just- It's a dangerous sport.
Diana: I didn't make the cheerleading team.
See more »

Connections

References Rocky (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can Do Too
Written by Dallas Austin, Lisa Bass, Jasper Cameron, Queen Latifah, and Theodore Shapiro
Performed by Cole featuring Queen Latifah
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User Reviews

 
good showcase for new talent
3 November 2000 | by mercury-26See all my reviews

Casting unknown Michelle Rodriguez as Diana was a stroke of genius. She's perfect. Her acting inexperience actually works in her favor. We've never seen her before so it really feels like her story. She also brings across genuine toughness. This works against her though, because we never doubt her. You never have to cheer for her to win because she never goes up against any fighter we don't think she can beat. So as a boxing movie, it fails.

Then again, this isn't really a boxing movie. How do you make a movie about a girl who wants to be a boxer that isn't a boxing movie? You don't. But Karyn Kusama has anyway. Like many indie films, "Girlfight" defies classification or genre and stands on its own as folklore that could darn near happen in real life.

Diana is doing poorly in school. She beats up people she doesn't like (all the other girls in her school for example). She doesn't fit in. Her father is forcing her kid brother Tiny to learn to box so he can defend himself when things get tough. He gives Tiny money for his boxing sessions and gives Diana nothing, as if she has no need to defend herself, nor anything worthwhile to make of her life. Tiny wants to go to art school (cliche', yuck), so he gives up his boxing allowance to Diana, who actually wants to box. Things get complicated when Diana falls for another boxer, Adrian (Santiago Douglas), who's looking to turn pro. From there the story winds down toward the inevitable...the two meet in the amateur title fight.

What left me cold was that I never found any of this all that interesting. It's all just a bit too believable. Kids with tough lives growing up in rough urban areas fall back on sports. A lot of professional boxers have risen from these circumstances. The mental and physical toughness this upbringing requires lends itself to a game like boxing, where anger is your friend. So this time it's a girl. Big deal.

Or there's another position to take: finally, a boxing movie about a girl. Women's boxing has been around a long time. The brutality we usually see in boxing films is replaced here by discussions of people's their lives and their feelings. The whole fighting thing is used as a platform from which to paint a larger picture. Respect. Overcoming adversity. Self-discovery.

I recommend "Girlfight" because it has a good spirit and is an example of some great work by a first time director. The dialogue never rises above soap opera quality, but the story itself actually changed my view on some things. Yes, the world now seems like a better place. A film did that.

Grade: B-


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