Real Women Have Curves (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Real Women Have Curves (2002)



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

Real Women Have Curves Trailers & Photos

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 indomitable will to reach beyond sweatshop life eventually leads her to burst, defiant and resplendent, through every restriction on her life.more
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content and some language)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Josefina Lopez, George LaVoo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 2003
Box Office: $5.7M
HBO Films - Official Site


George Lopez
as Mr. Guzman
Jorge Cervera Jr.
as Raul Garcia
Felipe de Alba
as Grandfather
Manuel Edgar Lujan
as Juan Martin
Celina Belazin
as Glitz Receptionist
Marlene Forte
as Mrs. Glass
Jimmy Ishida
as Landlord
Pete Leal
as Dr. Lopez
Esmerelda McQuillan
as Pharmacy Attendant
Sandie Torres
as Dona Carlota
Dale Turner
as Policeman
Julia Vera
as Dona Gorgonia
Lisa Guzman
as Girl No.1
Lackey Bevis
as Girl No.2
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Real Women Have Curves

Critic Reviews for Real Women Have Curves

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (29)

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
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

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
Top Critic

A vivid cinematic portrait.

November 15, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Ugly Betty star captivates in teen drama.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
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.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

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

Full Review… | January 2, 2009

Audience Reviews for Real Women Have Curves

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.

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.

Red Lats

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.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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