Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Girl In Progress (Movie Review)

I attended an advanced screening of Girl In Progress on Friday, April 27 at Core Club.  I did not know anything about the film except that it starred Eva Mendes, a beautiful actress who I enjoy watching on the big screen.   After enjoying the movie, I looked up the movie and read the Official plot synopsis:

Grace (Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work, bills, and the very married Dr. Hartford (Matthew Modine), to give her daughter, Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) the attention she desperately needs. When Ansiedad’s English teacher, Ms. Armstrong (Patricia Arquette), introduces her students to classic coming-of-age stories, Ansiedad is inspired to skip adolescence and jump-start her life without mom. While Grace becomes preoccupied with the increasing affections of her co-worker (Eugenio Derbez), Ansiedad enlists the help of her loyal friend, Tavita (Raini Rodriguez), to plot her shortcut to “adulthood”. But as her misguided plan unravels, Ansiedad and Grace must learn that sometimes growing-up means acting your age.

In her English class, Ansiedad learns that a rites of passage consists of the unwanted necessary steps on the highway to adulthood.  She decides that “Being a kid is stupid and I’m moving on.”  She devises a plan where she will ultimately “hop on a bus to adultville and leave mom behind.”  She even goes as far as casting a sick dying Grandma (Maude).

Ansiedad tells her mom, “Using ‘I’m tired is a half-hearted excuse for not noticing.’….Leave me alone….that’s what you are good at.  Where were you last night?  Why aren’t you ever there?….Until the next guy, then I don’t exist anymore.”

The film explores many important topics regarding relationships and asks the following questions:

  • Responsibility
  • Forgiveness
  • Is growth limited to youth or are we constantly evolving?
  • Is life a series of succession of rites of passages and a long string of coming of age?

There’s always an epiphany (literary term for sudden realization) and a lesson in coming of age stories.

The Hispanic characters reminded me of ABC-TV’s hit show Ugly Betty (but I never watched the show)  Newcomer Cierra Ramirez is phenomenal onscreen and I look forward to seeing her in other movies.  The casting of Eva and Cierra as mother and daughter is dead-on.  They are both beautiful women and make a believable family.  As I watched the movie, I also found myself thinking about Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.  The stylist needs to be commended, especially for Cierra’s wardrobe choices.

I did find the plot involving Grace’s co-worker at Emile’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar Mission (“Impossible”) predictable and trite.

Girl In Progress is a coming of age story which opens Mother’s Day weekend (Friday, May 11, 2012)  I highly recommend going to see it with your mom, daughter, sister or girlfriend.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #girlinprogress

Running time: 90 Minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking – all involving teens.

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