There's more to Ana Garcia than meets the eye. Should she leave home, go to college and experience life? Or stay home, get married, and keep working in her sister’s struggling garment factory? It may seem like an east decision, but for 18 year-old Ana, every choice she makes this summer will change her life. At home, she is bound to a mother who wants her to become someone she's not. But at school, she's encouraged by a teacher who sees her potential and adored by a boyfriend who loves her for who she is. Right now, Ana may be making clothes for less shapely women. But she's about to discover that real women take chances, have flaws, embrace life, and above all, have curves!
This culture-clash comic melodrama is effervescent and satisfying, a crowd pleaser that does not condescend. And it is a crowd pleaser; the tumultuous audience response to "Curves" during screenings at the Sundance Film Festival made it a sure Dramatic Audience Award winner. The generational conflict is set off between the blossoming Ana (America Ferrera), a Mexican-American teenager who has a chance to attend Columbia University on a scholarship, and her mother, Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros), who is determined that Ana follow convention and go to work with her in a Los Angeles sweatshop. It's rare to see a movie about two strong-willed women, let alone a film in which the one who is in the wrong is not painted unequivocally as a heartless villain. — Elvis Mitchell
2002-03-22 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Real Women Have Curves