Girl in Progress
Recommended for ages 12 and over
Theatrical Release: 5/11/2012
Video Release: 9/11/2012
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Writer: Hiram Martinez
Producer: Benjamin Odell
Director: Patricia Riggen
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Eva Mendes, Cierra Ramirez, Matthew Modine, Patricia Arquette,Eugenio Derbez
Grace (Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work, bills, and and relationships, 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.
Here is a movie which illustrates that change is possible for anyone who truly wants it. A teenager named Ansiedad lives with her mother Grace, and their relationship is a bit rocky, mainly due to the fact that Grace is having an affair with a married man, works as a waitress at a diner, and is hardly ever home. Yet Ansiedad's love for her mother is clearly seen when she goes into her mom's bedroom after Grace gets home late and she lovingly removes her shoes while she sleeps.
When Ansiedad hears her teacher mentioning "coming of age" and "rites of passage" in her class at school, she decides it is time she goes from being a very good student to a time of rebellion. She says, "Being a kid is stupid and I'm moving on." However, she moves on with some very bad decisions. She sets her goals on hanging out with "bad girls", ditching her overweight but kind best friend, ignoring her school work, drinking and "maybe" doing drugs. Lastly, she plans on losing her virginity. She even sets her eyes on the guy she wants it to happen with.
Obviously these are themes which are realistically handled in this film yet there is a strong change in the characters by movie's end, including both Grace and Ansiedad, who "grow up" and form a bond. Without spoiling the ending, Ansiedad learns that being an adult means being responsible and Grace remembers her responsibilities as well. The redemptive theme is strong in this one.
Parents should watch this film with their kids and discuss the various decisions the characters make. Due to the sophisticated themes we are recommending this movie for ages twelve plus. "Girl in Progress" is a film you and your family will care about! And it could be utilized as a teaching tool in making decisions and dealing with consequences. This one is Dove "Family-Approved". "Girl in Progress" is just that, a story about progress and how cool is that?
Sex: A daughter tells class that her mother is dating a married man which is true and lasts throughout much of the movie with implied sex but with the mother breaking it off and regretting it by film's end; a teen girl decides she needs to rebel and decides she should lose her virginity; teen girl writes about boy who will "de-flower" her and she picks up a young man and gives him a condom but she doesn't follow through and changes by movie's end; a scene which shows a young man's condom break; another girl mentions sex in the basement; an innuendo about having sex.
Language: G/OMG-6; For G*d's sake-1; H-2; "Sc*ew you" comment; PO-1; Crap-2; D-2; A-1; Sucks-2; Idiot-1; Sl*t-1; Sl*tware; the term "retard" is used a few times as is "fat".
Violence: A place is robbed without anyone being harmed; a girl says a boy at school looks like the type who would keep guns in his locker.
Drugs: Girl lies to get tequila and says it's a birthday present for her mother and she gives it to other underage teens who drink at a party; several drinking scenes; a girl takes diet pills; girl says she used "gate-way" drugs before stopping and changing; a few smoking scenes.
Nudity: Cleavage; woman wears short dress; woman in lingerie; teen girl seen in bra; shirtless men; photos on young man's wall of girls in bikinis.
Other: Man robs a business but later returns the money; girl bribes man to give her bus money as he is married and was having an affair with her mother; a young man gives another character the middle finger; an image of a demon is called a "jerk"; girl tells mother she is going to quit doing dishes; a girl says she "hacked" into a computer; disrespect by girl who tells her school class her mother doesn't inspire her but she changes at the end; a few characters lie.