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Real Women Have Curves

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Real Women Have Curves

Starring: America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros
Director: Patricia Cardoso
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 85 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Michele Moretti, Ingrid Oliu, George Lopez

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Patricia Cardoso's REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES is a well intentioned, fat liberation movie that is grounded in clichés and has after-school TV special written all over it. It features attractive and sympathetic Latino females with bowling ball figures. Their acting, with one notable exception, is uniformly awkward.

What the movie has going for it is a spunky and heart-felt performance by the wonderfully likable America Ferrera as 18-year-old Ana. Ana's mother (Lupe Ontiveros) and sister (Ingrid Oliu) run a small women's dress factory in which, we are told, they get about eighteen dollars per dress from Bloomingdales. Bloomies in turn sells their dresses for six hundred dollars.

If you have trouble believing in this over three thousand percent markup, you will really have trouble buying how easy it is for Ana to get into a prestigious Ivy League college. Although she doesn't even apply until the summer before the college's fall semester begins, her high school teacher assures her that she can get accepted and can get her required full scholarship as well. This timeframe is wildly out of sync with reality, as parents with college-aged kids are painfully aware.

Ana's mother doesn't want her to go to college. After all, she tells her husband, "I can educate her. I'll teach her how to sew. I'll teach her how to take care of her husband." Ana -- you guessed it -- wants more out of life than a career behind a sewing machine. Think she'll get it? Think she'll come to like herself even if she is overweight? And do you think that some thin boy will decide that she is just right for him? Three for three -- you're good.

REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES runs 1:39. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual content and some language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes

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