GIRL IN PROGRESS Send This Review to a Friend
In “Girl in Progress,” directed by Patricia Riggen and written by Hiram Martinez, Cierra Ramirez plays Ansiedad, a teen-ager who is chronicling her points of development in life with experiences she plans to have, such as losing her virginity. A basic problem with the film is that Ansiedad, although well played by Ramirez in accordance with the script, is a nasty, ungrateful little bitch for whom sympathy would be misplaced.
She rebels against her mother for not taking enough interest in her life without a clue as to her mother’s needs and problems. Eva Mendes plays her mom, Grace, who has had and is having her own struggles. She works in a restaurant specializing in crab and also as a maid in the home of the married man with whom she is having an affair, Dr. Harford, played by Matthew Modine, who keeps promising to leave home for her while not taking any action, as well as neglecting to include Ansiedad in his empty promises.
Ansiedad is so eager to social climb in school and be accepted by the nasty, uppity girls who form a clique and look down upon those they consider unworthy. When they demand that she reject her fat best friend, Tavita (Raini Rodriguez), she does so cruelly in a moment that can make a viewer cringe.
Patricia Arquette plays Ansiedad's English teacher who wants to be helpful. Ansiedad apparently
learns something about life and how to be a better person when suddenly near the end of the film, all becomes rosy in an unlikely complete turnabout brimming with new revelations and understanding between mother and daughter. Ansiedad’s “best friend” happily forgives her. We are supposed to like Ansiedad, enjoy her experiences and be in her corner. A Lionsgate, Pantelion Films and Televisa Films release.