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
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