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Real Women Have Curves Review

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Upon graduating high school Ana is torn between college ambition and family obligations. She reluctantly works in her sister's factory for a summer and it is there that she learns about the women around her, and herself.

★★★★★

This may sound like an indie film standing up to Hollywood size-fascism, but in reality it's more a case of a modern girl standing up to her body-conscious mother. Hispanic Ana (Ferrera) is gifted but held back by her less-educated parents' expectations.

Sent to work in her sister's clothing factory upon leaving school, her sullen attitude and quiet rebellion (she sabotages the work, she dates in secret) are gradually replaced by a growing confidence and an understanding of her elder sister's choices.

The title scene, in which Ana inspires her co-workers into a state of proud undress, has its heart in the right place, but feels contrived. As a coming-of-age piece, it's enjoyable, sympathetic and boasts strong performances - most notably Ontiveros as Ana's hilariously melodramatic mother. But don't expect it to change either the world or cinema.

Warm, humorous, with some strong performances elevates this film above the humdrum coming-of-age stock we may have grown to expect. Not remarkable, but definitely one to watch.