In East Los Angeles, an 18-year-old struggles between her ambitions of going to college and the desires of her domineering mother for her to get married, have children, and oversee the small, rundown family-owned textile factory.
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
REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES (2002) ***1/2 America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros, Ingrid Oliu, George Lopez, Brian Sites, Soledad St. Hilaire, Dale E. Turner. Above average indie diamond in the rough slice of life portrayal of a Mexican American teenager (Ferrara in a remarkable acting debut) trying to cope with her dream to attend college and her quarrelsome relationship with her loving but problematic mother (Ontiveros who gives a beautifully modulated turn) whose own insecurities and frustrations are taken out on her zaftig daughter. Funny, poignant and ultimately a triumph in full-bodied (no pun intended) protagonists without compromising it's clear headed vision of how society and culture myopically decides what is pleasant to the eye (or acceptable for that matter). Finally a film that portrays Latinos in a positive light by not making it a racial film' either. The screenplay by George LaVoo and Josefina Lopez (adapting her play) offers insight to familiar subject matter but with a refreshing focus on character development by not compromising it's strong message: to accept one self is to love one self. (Dir: Patricia Cardoso)
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