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Real Women Have Curves
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Real Women Have Curves

Description of Film:  Patricia Cardoso (Nappily Ever After) directs this film, from the play by Josefina Lopez.  The film focuses on a first generation Mexican-American girl named Ana (played by America Ferrera, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) who is on the brink of womanhood. Ana lives in a community in East Los Angeles that is mostly Latino.  Right out of high school, Ana finds herself being given a full scholarship to prestigious Columbia University; this is her dream come true.  However, Ana’s parents are old-fashioned and traditional.  They believe that what Ana needs to do is help care and provide for her family, not go off to college.  Ana is in a rough place; she is confused about whether to follow her dreams to Columbia or remain with her family.  She decides to work with her mother (Lupe Ontiveros, Selena) at her sister’s sewing factory in downtown Los Angeles for the summer.  During that time, Ana comes to admire the women who are there everyday working hard.  The women begin to school her in the need for unity and teamwork.  However, Ana decides that she must leave her home and community to further her education.  She thinks this is what is best for her and what will let her discover where she fits in the world as a proud, intelligent Chicana-American woman. 

This movie is rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.

Real Women Have Curves was nominated for three Sundance Film Festival awards.  One nomination was for the Audience Award for Dramatic Film.  The film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Special Jury Prize for America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros for acting.  

Why I Recommend This Film:  This movie is well directed and the performances are comprehensive.  It is vivid, charming, warm, funny and refreshing.  It is particularly refreshing in its content and characters. 

Why This Film Is Important:  This movie helps break down stereotypes by depicting a group not commonly seen in the film industry; hard-working Latina women who offer wisdom and care for one another.  It is unlike so many films in which Latina women play maids; Lupe Ontiveros was quoted as saying that she thinks she has played a maid in over 150 films.  What does that say about what the film industry thinks of Latina women?  This movie is excellent because it shows us a culture not often depicted. 

Favorite Quotation:  Rosali has just said she looked like a cow.  Her friends respond:

Ana: If you're a cow, then I'm a hippo.

Estela: And I'm an elephant.

Pancha: [laughing] And I'm Orca.
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