[Screen It]


(2002) (America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Minor Moderate None None
Minor None None None Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy *Minor Moderate Heavy Minor

Drama: A sullen high school graduate dreams of bettering her life while dealing with her over-restrictive parents and her mother's constant criticism of her weight.
Ana Garcia (AMERICA FERRERA) is a recent high school graduate who was smart enough to gain admittance to Beverly Hills High School, but lacks the drive or money to make more of herself. Much of that has to do with her parents, Carmen (LUPE ONTIVEROS) and Raul (JORGE CEVERA JR.), and the way they treat her.

Raul doesn't want her to split up the family by attending some out of state college, while Carmen constantly belittles Ana for being overweight and without a boyfriend. She eventually convinces her oldest daughter, Estela (INGRID OLIU), to give Ana a job in her small, un-air-conditioned dress factory where she, Carmen and others make dresses that they sell to department stores for $18 that are then sold to consumers for $600.

Not surprisingly, Ana isn't pleased with working for Estela along with other literal sweatshop workers such as Pancha (SOLEDAD ST. HILAIRE) and Norma (LINA ACOSTA). Her only solace is her understanding grandfather, Don Miguel (FELIPE DE ALBA); an English teacher, Mr. Guzman (GEORGE LOPEZ), who keeps pushing her to excel; and a secret boyfriend, Jimmy (BRIAN SITES), who doesn't care about her weight.

As she continues working in the factory and dreaming of attending college, Ana must decide whether or not to allow her restrictive parents and societal norms to prevent her from being happy and attaining her dreams.

Those who like films with Latino characters may want to see it, as might anyone who can relate to the protagonist and her plight.
For sexual content and some language.
  • AMERICA FERRERA plays an intelligent but moody 18-year-old high school graduate who's near constantly in a bad attitude due to her restrictive parents not allowing her to attend college, her mother's constant criticism of her weight, and having to work in her sister's dress factory. She briefly uses strong profanity and purposefully loses her virginity to Jimmy.
  • LUPE ONTIVEROS plays her histrionic mother who's constantly critical of Ana's weight and overall attitude.
  • INGRID OLIU plays Ana's older sister who runs a small dress factory and struggles to keep it afloat.
  • GEORGE LOPEZ plays Ana's English teacher who pushes her to attend college.
  • BRIAN SITES plays Ana's secret boyfriend who doesn't care what she looks like and has sex with her.
  • SOLEDAD ST. HILAIRE and LINA ACOSTA play other seamstresses in Estela's dress factory.
  • JORGE CEVERA JR. plays Ana's father who doesn't want her to break up the family by attending college out of state.
  • FELIPE DE ALBA plays Ana's understanding grandfather.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this "dramedy" that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present (including talk about losing one's virginity), while we see a young couple fooling around (with the girl planning on losing her virginity that she does off camera). She and other women are seen in their bras and panties in a non-sexual context.

    That 18-year-old girl and her overbearing mother don't get along due to bad attitudes on both of their parts, resulting in some tense family material. Beyond all of that, however, the rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • We see a few brief store advertisements for beer or liquor.
  • Pancha makes a shrine for her father on the anniversary of his death and pours a shot of tequila for it.
  • Some asks, "Who farted?" and someone else replies, "Whoever smelt it, dealt it."
  • Carmen has a bad attitude toward Ana as she constantly belittles her and complains that she's fat (making all sorts of mean varied comments about that) and unmarried, etc.
  • In turn, Ana has a bad attitude toward her mom and doesn't do much around the house. She also quits her job and then isn't happy or grateful for getting a job working for her older sister.
  • Ana purposefully allows an iron to stay on a dress and burn into it.
  • A department store buyer has a condescending attitude toward Estela and Ana.
  • Ana tells a white lie so that she can go on a date with Jimmy.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases (some in Spanish with English subtitles): "F*ck you," "Kiss my ass," "Where the hell are you going?" "Jerk," "Spoiled brat," "Bastard," "Shut up," "Who farted? Whoever smelt it, dealt it" and "You tramp."
  • Although we don't see anyone painting it, we do see lots of graffiti on various buildings.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None that we heard, but some songs have lyrics in Spanish that we did not understand.
  • At least (some in Spanish with English subtitles) 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words (1 in English, 1 in Spanish), 1 slang term for sex ("screwed"), 1 slang terms for breasts ("boobs"), 2 damns, 1 ass, 1 hell and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Trying to demonstrate how fat she thinks her daughter is, Carmen suddenly lifts up Ana's clothed breasts to show how large they are.
  • Carmen recounts what happened on a Spanish soap opera and says that she knows what a male character really wanted when he said he wanted a woman. There's talk then about the female character getting pregnant.
  • As Jimmy reads off Spanish cuss words and their English translation, one of them includes "I screwed him."
  • Comments are made about a young woman's boyfriend not showing up for a wedding ceremony after he "had a taste" of her (had sex). Ana and Carmen then have a disagreement over sex and virginity with Ana saying that the only reason a person got pregnant is that they didn't know how to use contraceptives. After Carmen makes a comment about that, Ana asks why a woman's virginity is the only thing that matters.
  • Carmen believes that she's pregnant since she hasn't had her period in three months, but Ana says that she isn't (and a doctor later confirms that).
  • As Ana sits while joining Jimmy, he stares at her clothed chest. She then asks if he's starring at her "boobs." He alternates his response (first saying yes, then no and yes again), says that he's a guy so he kind of has to, and then asks if they can change the subject.
  • Jimmy and Ana make out in his car.
  • Ana asks for some condoms in a drug store and the female clerk asks what kind. Ana isn't sure, so the clerk picks out some and says, "These are kind of fun."
  • Ana and Jimmy make out and he's then partially on top of her on a bed. She then says, "Let's do it." He asks if she's sure and she says that she's ready. She then takes her shirt off and we see her in her bra. They kiss more, he then takes his shirt off, and there's some caressing. She hands him the condom, he turns off the light and we hear sounds of clothes being removed. She then tells him to turn the lights back on because she wants him to see her the way she is. We see him get up (wearing just his boxers), and he comes over and puts his arms around her as she stands before a mirror (in a head and shoulders shot). It's implied that they have sex.
  • Once Carmen figures out Ana had sex, she calls her a tramp for losing her virginity and not saving herself. Ana then argues back that there's more to her than what's between her legs.
  • With the temperature inside the dress factory being incredibly hot, Ana decides to remove her shirt and thus we see her in her bra (she says who cares, that there are only women there and they all have the same parts). She then drops her pants and we see her in her small panties. Three other women (of varying ages and body sizes) then remove their shirts and pants, and we see them in bras and panties of various designs (and of varying degrees of skin exposed). They do so due to the heat but also to compare stretch marks and to show how they don't care about how they look (a few then even dance around while dressed like that).
  • Ana appears to buy her grandfather a cigar in a drugstore (but it was hard to see exactly what she picked up).
  • Ana and Carmen's attitudes toward each other put a strain on their daughter/mother relationship, while Ana isn't happy with her parents' refusal to let her attend college.
  • Pancha makes a shrine for her father on the anniversary of his death.
  • The notion of beauty lying in eye of the beholder.
  • The way Ana's mom views and treats her.
  • Being overweight in today's society.
  • Losing one's virginity.
  • Going to college.
  • Sweatshops (Estela is paid $18 for each dress that then sells for $600 at Bloomingdale's).
  • Carmen slaps Ana during an argument.

  • Reviewed November 1, 2002 / Posted November 15, 2002

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