Friday, May 11, 2012

{Movie Reviews} Girl in Progress - in Theatres NOW!

It is Mother's Day Weekend Butterflies! Wishing all my butterfly mamas a very happy Mother's Day! I hope you made your restaurant reservations early, but if you didn't or are planning something more low key like a Movie, what better than a movie themed with Moms in mind!

I had the pleasure of attending a very intimate special screening of Girl in Progress, giving me the chance to catch up with some bloggers and editors that I know and meet some new ones and also check out a release that is hitting a theatre near you this weekend.


Grace (Eva Mendes) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Grace (played by Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work,  bills, and the very married Dr. Hartford (played by Matthew Modine), to give  her daughter, Ansiedad (played by Cierra Ramirez) the attention she desperately needs. When Ansiedad's English teacher, Ms. Armstrong (played by 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 (played by Eugenio Derbez), Ansiedad enlists the help of her loyal friend, Tavita (played by 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.

Grace (Eva Mendes) and Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Distributor: Pantelion Films 
Cast: Eva Mendes, Matthew Modine, Cierra Ramirez, Raini Rodriguez
Director: Patricia Riggen 
Running time: 90 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking – all involving teens.
Release Date: May 11, 2012

Dr. Hartford (Matthew Modine) and Grace (Eva Mendes) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

My Take:

The relationship between a Mother and Daughter is a complex one, it evolves with each stage of your child's life and growing up. The movie delves into those critical years where a young teen is struggling with her identity, struggling to be the total opposite of her mom (because at that age, no one thinks it's cool to be like their parents), and the process of learning that life is really in the journey and not the destination so don't try so hard to move it ahead too quickly.

There are some cons for me, the main one is that Eva's character Grace is having an affair with a married man. I don't condone it, and as a Latina I of course wonder why this was put in there. Couldn't Grace be a bit immature, or a struggling single mom of a teenage daughter without having to have an affair with a Married Man? It just felt to stereotypical for me. Yes I know women of all races are capable of this behavior, but why did it have to be this one?

Second, the underage drinking which I also know is really happening out there, so if you want to look at it as a reflection of what is going on in some homes, then it's accurate, but I personally didn't feel so comfortable with that. If you are going to see this with a teen, use that scene as a discussion point after the movie and use it as an opportunity to re-iterate to your child what your stance is on drinking as a whole and on under-age drinking especially.

Now that being said, it was well cast and the daughter, Ansiedad, portrayed by Cierra Ramirez was definitely a stand out first performance from a break out young star in the making! Her best friend Tavita played by Raini Rodriguez (sister of Rico Rodriguez, who portrays Manny on the popular ABC Television Series Modern Family), was also a dynamic performance.

Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) and Mission Impossible (Eugenio Derbez) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Eugenio Derbez, who plays Grace's co-worker, called 'Mission Impossible' by his co-workers at the restaurant where they work also gave a great performance in this movie, if you haven't already seen it, he was also fantastic in the movie 'Under the Same Moon', He was also in Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill, he is unquestionably one of Mexico's best-known actors, the most recognized actor among the Spanish-speaking population in the United States and I'm happy to see him breaking ground in the mainstream US market too.

If you decide to take in this movie, please come back here and let us know what YOU think!

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FTC Disclosure: I was invited to attend a private screening of Girl in Progress, food & beverages and a lovely gift bag were provided to guests. However, all opinions regarding this film are 100% my own. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit:


  1. Thanks so much for the review! I haven't had the opportunity yet to see it and was debating whether I would check it out or not. I appreciate your take on it and think I will go to see it after all. Look forward to sharing my review, too!

    1. @Mami2Mommy - I would love your feedback when you do see it! Happy Mother's Day!

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