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Real Women Have Curves (2002)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 70 | Rotten: 14

Even though Real Women is another coming-of-age tale, it's a real charmer.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2

Even though Real Women is another coming-of-age tale, it's a real charmer.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 10,603

My Rating

Movie Info

Ana, a first generation Mexican American teenager living in East Los Angeles, has just graduated from high school. Because she is a talented writer, a caring teacher urges her to apply to college. Ana secretly is excited about the possibility, but her overbearing and hypercritical mother, Carmen, insists that it is time for her to help provide for the family by working in her sister's sewing factory. When a crisis arises at the factory, it seems as if Ana's fate is unhappily sealed, but her

Apr 22, 2003


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All Critics (97) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (14) | DVD (13)

It's so underwritten that you can't figure out just where the other characters, including Ana's father and grandfather, come down on the issue of Ana's future.

November 21, 2002 | Comment (1)
Orlando Sentinel
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Real Women Have Curves is nowhere near a great film, but it is the most distinctive and appealing of entertainments.

November 15, 2002
Detroit News
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A vivid cinematic portrait.

November 15, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You watch for that sense of openness, the little surprises.

November 15, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny and touching.

November 15, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's most refreshing about Real Women Have Curves is its unforced comedy-drama and its relaxed, natural-seeming actors.

November 8, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Ugly Betty star captivates in teen drama.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

America Ferrerra manages to steal the movie from every one of the actors in this film basically because of her charisma alone.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

However conventional the film sometimes is, it always feels true to life, thanks to in largest part to the actresses.

January 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

One of the best things about "Real Women" is exactly that %u2013 the real sized women (and men) who fill out this endearing coming-of-age story with a physical and emotional robustness that puts the Hollywood size-three's to shame.

December 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Martha's Vineyard Times (Massachusetts)
Martha's Vineyard Times (Massachusetts)

Divertido, sensível, bem dirigido e abençoado por ótimas atuações, o filme só falha ao subestimar espectador, explicitando uma mensagem que se beneficiaria da sutileza.

August 30, 2004
Cinema em Cena

This strong little independent film packs more colour and life into its trim 86 minutes than many puffed-up blockbusters can stuff into two hours.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Cardoso has clearly connected with Josefina Lopez' work (originally a stage play based on her own experiences) and found something to say without making it either a feminist or a fatty tract.

April 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's just an honest, funny, touching story about a teen-age girl who tries to find her way after graduating high school.

April 24, 2003 Full Review

Real movies have characters, but not Real Women Have Curves, a fiasco of dopey characters and clumsy script.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Offoffoff

A charming and funny story of clashing cultures and a clashing mother/daughter relationship.

January 16, 2003 Full Review Source:

A coming-of-age drama centered on a mother-daughter conflict, it also explores the immigrant experience; the battle to accept oneself, imperfections and all; and the importance of personal dignity.

January 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

This is one of those movies which make you want to know what happens to the characters later on.

January 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The material here is expressed with a real sweetness and tenderness, and considering how heavy some of the themes are, the film is quite subtle.

December 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

[America] Ferrera ... is bright, appealing, funny and downright sexy (and is that the coolest actress name you have ever heard or what?).

December 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

What better message than 'love thyself' could young women of any size receive?

December 19, 2002
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One is encouraged to root for these lovely people to do well, which is about all the dramatic tension that this pic can garner.

December 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It treats Ana's journey with honesty that is tragically rare in the depiction of young women in film.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

An enjoyable feel-good family comedy regardless of race.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

I'm not a fan of the phrase 'life affirming' because it usually means 'schmaltzy,' but Real Women Have Curves truly is life affirming.

November 22, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for Real Women Have Curves

Real Women Have Curves is a film that celebrates Womanhood and goes against the Hollywood way women are often portrayed. It's a little misleading though as this isn't really about looks as such but more about the roles women play at home with the family, at work, in education and society in general. At 51% of the population, it's not like Women are a minority group but there are issues that effect Women that are unique and as the film shows, most are uniquely unfair. America Ferrera is fantastic as a young High school graduate who has an attitude but the intelligence to back it up. If you proclaim yourself as a lover of 'Chick Flicks' then this film might be the film for you so you can a) see how they should be made and b) stop using the term ever again.
April 24, 2014

Super Reviewer

A young woman rebels against her mother in order to gain independence and a better life.
These days there is a lot of talk about the American Dream with politicians bandying about the term with little critical insight and the late, great George Carlin saying, "They call it that because you have to be asleep to believe it.;" But this is a film with its eyes wide open and a focused, almost myopic support of the possibilities that still remain for this nation's under-represented.
America Ferrera's performance as a focused, determined woman who is torn by her tradition-worshiping mother and her dreams of going to college is quite strong, and we quickly gain an admiring respect for the character as Ferrera embodies her. Likewise, the antagonist, played by Lupe Ontiveros, is believable as being able to combine love, fear, and manipulation in a single action. These are two fine actresses giving strong performances.
Though the film is able to celebrate women without demonizing men, there are nonetheless structural flaws. Director Patricia Cardoso tries to add Latin music to smooth out the film's transitions, but the scenes are unevenly short and episodic. Also, we never see much development in Ana's character. It is as though she either wakes up or starts the movie ready to give a school assembly speech to young girls about the importance of self-esteem, use of condoms, and higher education. Thus, she becomes a one-dimensional character and a mouthpiece for the director and screenwriters. Nothing she says is objectionable, but a film so invested in character should allow us more insight into her journey.
Overall, there's no reason not to show this film to every teenager in the country, regardless of ethnicity or size, but there are many reasons not to show it in film school.
May 30, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I enjoyed the movie. It portrays the struggle of many first generation immigrants, although the mother's resistance to her daughter going to college is unusual. America Ferrera does a great job.
August 20, 2009

Super Reviewer

This film does what most other so-called "chick-flicks" couldn't do. It celebrates women without bashing men. Yes, the male roles are secondary, but they're all moral, upstanding, intelligent characters that are supportive of Ana. Real Women Have Curves may be intended primarily for female audiences, but it's one that guys can watch without feeling belittled or apologetic.
April 22, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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