Real Women Have Curves

Real Women Have Curves Information

Real Women Have Curves is a 2002 American movie starring America Ferrera. Directed by Patricia Cardoso and produced by George LaVoo from a screenplay by LaVoo and Josefina Lopez (based on Lopez's play), it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award in addition to Special Jury Prizes for both Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros. The screenplay won the coveted Humanitas Prize and the movie was selected by the National Board of Review for Special Recognition For Excellence In Filmmaking. The independent film earned over five million dollars and brought the previously-unknown Ferrera to the public's attention. The coming-of-age film revolves around Ana Garcia, a Mexican-American teenager living in an East Los Angeles barrio.


Ana Garcia is a Mexican-American teenager living in an East Los Angeles barrio. While attending Beverly Hills High School, where she is an accomplished student, she works in near-sweatshop conditions in her sister's dress factory alongside her mother, Carmen (Ontiveros), who considers this to be her younger daughter's vocation. But Ana, encouraged by her teacher Mr. Guzman (George Lopez), has dreams of attending Columbia. Before achieving her goal, she must try to balance her mother's traditional view of women with her own contemporary ideas while dealing with self-image issues and exploring a new romantic relationship.


  • America Ferrera as Ana Garcia
  • Lupe Ontiveros as Carmen Garcia
  • Ingrid Oliu as Estela Garcia
  • George Lopez as Mr. Guzman
  • Brian Sites as Jimmy
  • Soledad St. Hilaire as Pancha
  • Lourdes Perez as Rosali
  • Jorge Cervera Jr. as Raúl Garcia


Critical response

Real Women Have Curves received generally positive reviews for both its theme of positive body image, portrayal of a realistic Mexican-American family, and its acting. The film received an 83% "fresh" rating on and a Metacritic score of 71/100. Claudia Puig of USA Today noted, "What will undoubtedly resound powerfully with audiences of Real Women Have Curves, particularly women, is the film's message that there is beauty in all shapes and sizes." Jean Oppenheimer of the Dallas Observer noted about the acting, "In her first major role, Ferrera is amazing [...] It is a wonderfully natural performance. To top it all off, she and Ontiveros are completely believable as mother and daughter." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian had a less positive review of 2/5 stars, calling the film "reasonably watchable," but "the politics of sex, race and class are on the 'lite' side."



  • 2002 Humanitas Prize, Sundance Film Category, George LaVoo and Josefina Lopez
  • 2002 National Board of Review, Special Recognition for excellence in film making
  • 2003 Imagen Award, Best Supporting Actress - Film, Lupe Ontiveros
  • 2003 Independent Spirit Award, Producers Award, Effie Brown
  • 2002 San Sebastián International Film Festival, Youth Jury Award, Patricia Cardoso
  • 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Audience Award, Patricia Cardoso
  • 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize (for acting), America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros


  • 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize, Patricia Cardoso
  • 2003 Independent Spirit Award, Best Debut Performance, America Ferrera
  • 2003 Young Artist Award, Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress, America Ferrera

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