Real Women Have Curves
Director: Patricia Cardoso
Screenwriters: George LaVoo, Josefina Lopez
- 2002 Sundance Film Festival
Curves on a blossoming young woman can be sexy, but not if you are told you have too many of them. Real Women Have Curves is a humorous and warmhearted look at a Mexican American teenage girl coming of age in a boiling cauldron of cultural expectations, class constrictions, family duty, and her own personal aspirations. In this auspicious debut, Patricia Cardoso gives us a cast of characters we very rarely see—working class Latina woman—with refreshing human complexity.
Ana, a first generation Mexican American teenager living in East Los Angeles, has just graduated from high school. Because she is a talented writer, a caring teacher urges her to apply to college. Ana secretly is excited about the possibility, tubu her overbearing and hyper-critical mother, Carmen, insists that it is time for her to help provide for the family by working in her sister's sewing factory, it seems as if Ana's fate is unhappily sealed, but her indomitable will to reach beyond a sweatshop life eventually leads her to burst, defiant and resplendent, through every restriction on her life.
America Ferrara and Lupe Ontiveros are wonderful as Ana and her mom as they deal with all of the unexpected curves life throws at them. Based on the play by Josephina Lopez, which is rooted in her own experience, Real Women Have Curves gives a fresh new voice to the yearnings of Chicana women struggling against insecurities to love themselves and find respect in the world.