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Real Women Have Curves (2002)

Cast: America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros, Ingrid Oliu, more...
Director: Patricia Cardoso
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: HBO Home Video
Genre: Independent, Coming of Age
Running Time: 86 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

In this independent drama, Ana (America Ferrera) is a bright and ambitious 18-year-old Latina who has just graduated from high school in East Los Angeles. Ana wants to broaden her horizons and go on to college, but her mother Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros) has other ideas; Ana's older sister Estela (Ingrid Oliu) oversees the family business, a dress factory, and Carmen has decided that Ana should put higher education on hold and go to work as a seamstress. When Estela loses four employees in a week, Ana reluctantly agrees to take a job at the factory to help her out, while she applies for college scholarships without her mother's knowledge. Ana's job at the dress factory proves to be a real eye opener; she gains a new respect for Estela's business acumen, but is also appalled by the low wages and unpleasant working conditions that are part and parcel of the garment industry. While Ana is not unattractive, she carries more than a few extra pounds, a subject her mother mentions at every available opportunity, and as Ana encourages her co-workers at the shop to stand up for themselves and gain a greater perspective of their own worth, she takes a long hard look at her own self-image. Real Women Have Curves won the Audience Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, while actresses America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros received a Special Jury Prize at the same festival for their performances. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Quaint, but compelling by Shemp65 February 15, 2005 - 5:16 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Real Women Have Curves is all about grrl pride and self-awareness. At first Ana is torn about her allegiance to her family and her own independent spirit and thirst for finding what she knows is a life outside her neighborhood, and then she quickly makes life-altering decisions. The movie is well-acted and moves at a brisk pace, but is tainted by thin plotlines and shifting story elements. More character depth and better segues between the character arcs would make this pleasing movie even more entertaining. Recommended with caution.

Nice little movie by WZoller August 26, 2004 - 6:07 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Good acting from all of the cast. This movie gives the viewer a good example of Mexican/American cultural conflicts with children of families that are being raised in the U.S. and not Mexico. A wonderful bonus is the excellent film score that matches well the emotional scenes that are taking place in the film.

Fun film, with minor indy flaws by greenie August 11, 2004 - 12:16 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I've been through L.A. countless times and have never seen the beautiful graffiti and barrio imagery that you see in this film. Highly recommended from a cultural viewpoint.
Some minor flaws. The mother character is extreme, and stereotypical, and never redeems herself. I understand the director felt the movie needed more of an antagonist, but she went a bit far. Some of the dialogue, especially surrounding Ana's moralizing about sweatshops, was a bit stilted. It was nice to see this issue mentioned in the movie, however.
Some scenes had me laughing pretty hard. It's an interesting look at the L.A.-Mexican, and American-Hispanic culture in general. Great acting. Fun, simple movie. Rent it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.84)
104 Votes
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