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 ...
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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 is a film that gives a voice to issues that do not get enough screen time: fat feminism and the difficulty of having a mixed heritage. It handles the material very well and provides an enjoyable viewing.
Ana Garcia is an American woman from an immigrant family from Mexico. She graduates from high school at the beginning of the film and with the encouragement of one of her teachers, hopes to go to college. Her parents are not pleased with her decision, citing economic problems as well as not wanting to break up the family unit. So Ana starts to work in her sister's sewing shop. Over the course of the summer, Ana learns much about herself, both her American and Mexican sides, and her family.
America Ferrara gives a strong performance, but it is Lupe Ontiveros, as Carmen Garcia, Ana's mother, that steals the show. She breathes life into a character that could have come off as a wicked witch, making her a realistic and sympathetic human being. The entire cast works, the only weak link being Brian Sites as the boyfriend, who does not make his character likable enough for us to believe Ana would really be interested in him.
The script is based on real life experiences and it shows. The whole movie has a very real feel to it, kudos to director Patricia Cardoso. The interesting cultures we see here are fascinating, how they seamlessly switch between English and Spanish, how they are proud of what they do, it is all very interesting to see. As much as the movie is about Mexican American culture, it also is about fat feminism. Ana is overweight, and her mother, who is as overweight too, is very critical of her for it. Fortunately, Ana is strong and confident, and learns to be happy with herself. The message that girls can be happy without looking like a model is a good one, and this film does a great job showing that.
Real Women Have Curves is an enjoyable film with a positive message that I heartily recommend.
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