Real Women Have Curves

2002 | Drama/Comedy | 93 minutes | English


Ana Garcia is an 18-year old student in Beverly Hills. She is an exceptional student hoping to get a scholarship to  Columbia University. Ana’s sister, Estela and her father Raul, support her ambitions. But Ana has a big problem with her mother, Carmen, who wants Ana to forego Columbia and work in the family-owned textile factory. Ana’s teacher, Mr. Guzman, is adamant that Ana should attend Columbia. Her scholarship will cover her expenses. At a graduation party, Carmen scolds Ana for eating too much and being overweight. This will make it difficult for Ana to get married and have children. Ever hopeful, Ana works on her college essay with Mr. Guzman. Ana also has a secret relationship with Jimmy, a white fellow graduate. Carmen confronts Ana about this relationship. Ana responds by telling her mother  she’s “emotionally abusive.” Near the end of summer, Mr. Guzman informs the family that Ana has received a scholarship to Columbia. Ana is determined to break free from her domineering mother. She is dropped off at the airport by her father and grandfather. Her mother fails to show. But Ana will be okay. She is at last seen walking with joy on the streets of New York. 

America Ferrera (Ana Garcia) / Lupe Ontiveros (Carmen Garcia) / Jorge Cervera, Jr. (Raul Garcia) / George Lopez (Mr.Guzman) / Brian Sites (Jimmy)
Why Stream This Film?
The “SAGE Journal of Adolescent Research Report” found that Latino women were quite critical of European American girls and women with unnaturally thin body shapes as depicted in mainstream media. Real Women Have Curves poignantly addresses the pain many Latino adolescents feel when society considers them overweight and “ugly.” It’s a film offering hope and compassion. It is so well done that the film is studied in academia.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 84%
  • Metacritic Score: 71
  • National Board of Review:  Special Recognition for Excellence in Film Making
  • Sundance Film Festival: Audience Award; Special Jury Prize for Acting (America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros)
  • Independent Spirit Award, Best Producer (Effie Brown)
  • The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

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This film is a breath of common sense and fresh air. REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES is a reminder of how rarely the women in the movies are real. After the almost excruciating attention paid to the world-class beauties in a movie, how refreshing to see America Ferrera light up the room with a smile from the heart.
Roger Ebert

The culture-clash  comic melodrama REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES is effervescent and satisfying and it does not condescend. It’s rare to see a movie about two strong-willed women, let alone a film in which the one who is wrong is not painted unequivocally as a heartless villain.
Elvis Mitchell

The New York Times

Natural in front of the camera, with an expressive face and comic timing, Ferrera is everything your average high school bimbo is not. Ontiveros is equally as bright and together they create an absorbing dynamic. An unashamed crowd-pleaser.
Laura Bushell

3 Faces 

3 Faces 

Behnaz Jafari is a popular actress in Iran. She sees a video of a young girl, Marziyeh, pleading for help to escape the stifling restrictions of her conservative family…

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