Director(s): Patricia Riggen
As single mom Grace juggles work, bills, and her affair with a married doctor, her daughter, Ansiedad, plots a shortcut to adulthood after finding inspiration in the coming-of-age stories shes reading for school.
|Girl in Progress (iPod)||Resolution: 480x320 px||Total Size: 354 Mb||
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Chris_Pandolfi (04 May 2013)
The idea of a teenage daughter rebelling against her mother under theguise of gaining independence is compelling. The fatal flaw of "Girl inProgress" is that this idea is not taken seriously until the final act,at which point we've been so turned off by the plot and characters thatwe no longer care. It really is shocking how badly this movie isstructured and how poorly the characters are developed; what shouldhave been a poignant and insightful generational story has been reducedto an implausible and inconsistent mess. It starts out at the level ofa second-rate sitcom, one that makes the dread mistake of believing thejokes it's telling are actually funny. It then makes a wild shift intone and becomes shamelessly sentimental. This is not to suggest thatit turns dour and depressing; it simply becomes mechanical, with allthe emotional loose ends tied up into neat little knots.Taking place in Seattle, it tells the story of a teenager namedAnsiedad (Cierra Ramirez) and her mother, Grace (Eva Mendes), who gotpregnant at seventeen, was kicked out of the house by her tyrannicalmother, never finished high school, never got married, and now works asboth a maid and a waitress in a seafood shack. She talks the talk aboutgoing back to night school, getting her diploma, and moving towards acomputer career. That's actually the reason she and Ansiedad moved tothe Pacific Northwest in the first place. The thing is, they have movednumerous times in the past several years. And Grace is no closer tostarting night school. What's the holdup? Basically, she has refused togrow up. She has had several men in her life and is currently dating amarried gynecologist (Matthew Modine). One could make the case thatshe's fun to be around, but she really isn't there for Ansiedad the waya parent should be.Ansiedad, obviously aware of her mother's caviler attitude abouteverything, rebels in school by making inappropriate classpresentations. Then her English teacher (Patricia Arquette) introducesto her the concept of the coming-of-age story, and this is the point atwhich the film goes spectacularly wrong. In learning about suchstories, in which a character or set of characters transitions fromchildhood to adulthood, Ansiedad decides that she has been a kid longenough and that she must accelerate her journey towards maturity andindependence. She researches coming-of-age stories extensively,especially in regards to the formula they tend to follow. From that,she compiles a list of life experiences that she must go. She thenmakes a creative-looking arrow chart and enlists her best friend,Tavita (Raini Rodriguez), to help her cross every item off the list.In following it, Ansiedad proves she knows absolutely nothing aboutauthentic coming-of-age stories. Her methods are cruel, manipulative,dangerous, and quite frankly, stupid. Had director Patricia Riggen andscreenwriter Hiram Martinez been aware of this, perhaps this plotdevice would have worked. Alas, they initially treat it as alighthearted comedy routine. Essentially, she believes she must go frombeing a "good girl" to a "bad girl," at which point she willmiraculously come out the other side an adult. On the journey, she willjoin the chess club, dress nerdy, provoke the mean girl, manipulate herinto friendship, start dressing as a bad girl, lose interest in school,catch the attention of the one boy who's a womanizing jerk, andultimately lose her virginity to him. She will also pretend to dumpTavita by making fun of her weight and sneak into a nursing home justso that she can claim sickly old woman as her grandmother.Ansiedad is so desperate to go through these life experiences that shewill steal money from her mother, lie to authority figures, andintentionally ruin her reputation. How could anyone in their rightminds believe this to be suitable material for a comedy? This is justtactless and insensitive. This story needed to be in the hands offilmmakers who actually understand people, teenagers and adults alike.The characters in this story are about as authentic as three-dollarbills. By the time we reach the final act, at which point it becomes abit more dramatic, the damage has already been done. We no longer haveit within us to like them, or even to invest in them for dramaticpurposes.Grace is the subject of a silly and barely developed subplot involvingsuddenly becoming the manager of the seafood shack and abusboy-turned-waiter nicknamed Mission Impossible (Eugenio Derbez), whocan barely speak English but clearly has a thing for Grace. He doessomething for her, something that largely exists only in movies likethis. His promise to correct his mistake is even less believable, ifsuch a thing was even possible. Meanwhile, Grace continues to see hermarried lover on the sly, eventually figuring out that he's asleazebag. We, of course, had figured that out as early as the firstscene. If "Girl in Progress" is what counts for a coming-of-age storynowadays, we might be forced to go back to the drawing board. Its titleisn't even deserving of the word "progress."-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
Nuni5546 (03 May 2013)
I watched this movie last night and thought it was a great movie.The movie starts off slow and a bit quirky. At times it even feels likeit is trying to hard to be something its not. Then somewhere in themiddle, it drops the quirky and the story develops. I became investedand began to care for the characters. The acting was good. Both main actresses do a great job in their rolesas mother and daughter. As an educator myself, I see these types ofmothers and daughters almost every school year. It was nice seeingtheir story be told and also one from Latin roots. I would recommend this movie because at the end of it all, you leavethe movie with some thoughts and emotions tied to the characters. Good film.
David Holt (22 April 2013)
Girl in _Progress is actually a very simple, straightforward storyabout a young girl doing her best to cope with her own adolescence aswell as her not-much-older mother who, in actual fact, is doing almostthe same thing. Due to her history (harsh, non-understanding mother),Grace (Eva Mendes), is desperately trying to find the love that shedidn't get when she was Amiestad's age - and why shouldn't she?I suspect that this movie is a lot closer to real life than a lot ofviewers realise. Teenagers forget that their parents have given themthe very best years of their lives form the time they were born rightup to the time they think they know everything - and then some more!Fortunately Amiestad realises this a lot sooner than many kids her agebut not before hurting her bet friend unforgivably (even though herbest friend DOES forgive her!)In this film, mother is only about 34 or 35 and still a beautiful womanwho has the very same needs as her daughter - although her daughter(initially) totally fails to recognise that fact. Like many teenagers,she thinks that the world revolves around her - but it doesn't and, atleast in this movie, she finds out before it's too late.I would suggest that this should be compulsory viewing for alladolescent kids but I fear that, in a lot of cases, they would shrugtheir shoulders and just say, "Whatever!"As Ned Kelly said when told he was to be hanged at ten o'clock the nextmorning, "Such is life!"
cultfilmfreaksdotcom (22 April 2013)
CABIN IN THE WOODS has a group of kids unknowingly forced into aslasher film setting, becoming victims of other people's whim.Ansiedad, our Latino teenage protagonist, uses the same concept with adifferent genre and is in complete control of the situation, almost.In an attempt to mirror the plot-points of Coming-Of-Age novels, sheintentionally lives the life of a good girl who progressively turns badand, like in the books, sets up a character-arc by becoming a geek inthe Club and then befriending the mean-spirited popular girls; going toparties; and losing her virginity to a rebellious womanizer.Not all of these plans are carried through, and along the way she burnsbridges not intended: like hurting her overweight best friend anddistancing herself even more from her single mother Grace, played byEva Mendes, a sexy working-class free-spirit having an affair with amarried man.Not sure whether it's a quirky JUNO type indie holding back or amainstream flick with an edge, the film lacks focus while theover-opinionated teen gets annoying. She knows too much for her (andour) own good. Thankfully there's GraceÂ working at a Crab restaurantand trying to keep her affair aliveÂ to even things out, but even hertale feels clichÃ©d and, eventually, predictable.But despite the flaws, the actresses (including Patricia Arquette as anEnglish teacher) try their best make it work. (And this has a reallylow IMDb rating, which it doesn't deserve) For More Reviews: www.cultfilmfreaks.com
Review total: 4, showing from 1 to 4