Movie Spotlight | Spotlight | Indy Week
Pin It

Movie Spotlight 

Real Women Have Curves

Patricia Cardoso's Real Women Have Curves was a big hit at last year's Sundance Film Festival, and has lately been the subject of earnest NPR profiles. The current year-end double issue of Entertainment Weekly has a full-page portrait of the film's principals, Lupe Ontiveros and America Ferrera.

The fuss is good free publicity for the film, but it also raises expectations to an unsustainable level. This film tells the story of Ana (Ferrera), a young Mexican-American woman in Los Angeles. Her father is a gardener and her mother (Ontiveros) is a seamstress, a traditional and superstitious woman who weeps over her telenovelas. Ana has graduated from high school, and despite the encouragement of a teacher, she assents to her family's wishes that she go to work in her older sister's sweatshop.

The most interesting scenes in the film are its glimpses of Mexican-American life in Los Angeles. In particular, we learn the details of the garment trade: The sweatshops get $18 per dress, each in turn to be retailed for $600. Beyond that, the plot is more than a little shopworn. Will Ana find love this summer? Will she find a way to realize her dreams of college, without severing ties to her family?

The film has gotten attention for its muchacha-power theme that stresses positive body images for plump girls. Ferrera's Ana is a little hefty, but she refuses to hide her curves, and indeed strikes up a romance with a gringo classmate.

Actually, the film doesn't make enough of the body image issue. For one thing, there are obvious contradictions between the admirable, be-happy-with-yourself message of this film and the steady drumbeat of public health alarms about America's increasing waistline. Maybe a few scenes at Mickey D's would have been apropos--surely those huevos rancheros can't bear all the blame.

  • Real Women Have Curves


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Spotlight

  • Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    A hero we could believe in
    • Oct 3, 2008
  • Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Pollack's death Monday, May 26, at age 73 represents the passing of a true film raconteur and accomplished director.
    • May 27, 2008
  • <i>Om Shanti Om</i>

    Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om delivers the glitter and glamour, the comedy and thrills, religion and the supernatural, mother love, high fashion and eye-popping  production numbers in proper masala fashion.
    • Nov 14, 2007
  • More »

Twitter Activity


I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation