Real Women Have Curves

| November 9, 2002

If most writers setting out to write a “Coming of Age” movie would see Real Women Have Curves before they sat down at their typewriters, we would have a lot more good movies. It would also help if they had a lead actor who at a young age, had great acting abilities. In Real Women Have Curves, new actress America Ferrera is absolutely inspiring as Ana Garcia, a Hispanic high school girl who is looking for direction immediately after graduation.
Ana is an extremely bright young woman. She has dreams of college and a better life, but the economics of her family life bring her to the doors of her sister’s small dress manufacturing company. She knows she wants something, and this is definitely not it. She appreciates the work being done by the other women who work for her sister, but she knows there is some higher target on her horizon.
The title refers to the fact that Ana (and all of the other women who populate the movie) are of above average weight. They have real women curves compared to the size 3 and 4 dresses they are assembling. Ana’s mother Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros from As Good As It Gets, Tortilla Heaven) continually reminds her that she is not a small girl, but somehow, Ana is able to fight the negative reinforcement she receives from her mother.
The acting is wonderful. Ferrera is phenomenal. She alone is completely worth the price of admission, the popcorn, and the Diet Coke. Ontiveros plays the part of the domineering mother who will stop at nothing to retain control of the family. You are not supposed to like her, and you don’t. Ingrid Oliu (Stand and Deliver) plays Estella. I am impressed with this woman who was able to start a company with no formal education and I don’t feel enough time is given to develop the many layers that are probably there. Soledad St. Hilaire (crazy/beautiful) is also excellent as one of the other workers in the factory.
This is a great movie for daughters to see with their moms. It’s a great date flick. It is, simply a wonderful movie that you will enjoy. One of my top ten for the year.

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