REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES: DVD
Ana (America Ferrera) is 18, overweight, disenchanted and about to graduate from high
school. She quits her casual job as a burger flipper, much to the annoyance of her
traditional Mexican family living modestly in East Los Angeles. Her mother, Carmen (Lupe
Ontiveros) expects Ana to work at the family sweatshop making up dresses for a
manufacturer, with her older sister Estela (Ingrid Oliu). Ana reluctantly helps out, but
her aspirations come alive when on the urging of her English teacher she is accepted with
a scholarship at Columbia University Ė in New York. Anaís family refuses to let
her go, but just as she lost her virginity under her own control, Ana is determined to
live life her way.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Real Women Have Curves Ė and they can be BIG curves. They also have brains and some
men find them sexy. In one scene, the women in the sweatshop take off their outer garments
and compare cellulite in what becomes a celebration of fat womanhood. Not only is it all
right to be overweight, itís positively robust. I doubt that this one film will undo
the self-image damage perpetrated by a million womenís magazine covers of ultra thin
women, but itís a start.
Itís also a sweet and innocent film with a big heart, and while it lacks the dizzying
elements of great cinema, it is engaging and warm. The story combines elements of coming
of age and defying a stereotype, but if the subject matter is unoriginal, the script and
the setting are fresh. There is the sting of truth in most scenes, and compelling
performances from a great cast to flesh out the themes (pardon the pun). America Ferrera
is the key to the filmís dramatic power, and she is as effective as was Michelle
Rodriguez in Girlfight.
The cultural issues are teased out without sentimentality and Lupe Ontiveros delivers a
complex and readily accessible mother whose good intentions are peppered with selfishness
and possessiveness. She is not a sympathetic character, and thatís to the filmís
credit. (Both actresses have rightly won awards for their performances here.) Patricia
Cardoso has clearly connected with Josefina Lopezí work (originally a stage play
based on her own experiences) and found something to say without making it either a
feminist or a fatty tract.
Special features include two audio commentaries, biographies and featurettes.
Published December 11, 2003
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REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES: DVD (M15+)
CAST: Lupe Ontiveros, America Ferrera, Ingrid Oliu
DIRECTOR: Patricia Cardoso
SCRIPT: Josefina Lopez, George LaVoo
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9 widescreen
SPECIAL FEATURES: Two Audio Commentaries, Biographies, Featurette
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2003
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.