Last week I went to a screening with my mom to see Girl in Progress. This film is a coming-of-age story with a single mother, Grace, trying to raise her daughter Ansiedad. As Hiram Martinez, the screenwriter says, "Grace was a no-brainer. It's the timeless clash between mother and daughter." In this story, Ansiedad studies other coming-of-age stories in order to create her own.
There are many stories structured like this. Personally, I didn't find these characters very relatable. I wanted the character's background to progress a bit more than was shown. I thought that the story lacked something -- maybe more of the character's background, or maybe just more excitement. Since the film had to be shot in only 22 days though, it deserves a lot of credit. The lead actors did a great job in portraying their characters' strengths and weaknesses. It was realistic and not over-played.
Hopefully not everyone is as cynical as I am and can find enjoyable themes in this film. If you were raised by a single mother, I can see that film might affect you strongly. The director, Patricia Riggen, talked about how some girls with single mothers who came to a screening were in tears at the end of the movie and through the Q & A session. And in the end, when making a movie, isn't reaching people the main goal? I can appreciate the fact that coming-of-age stories are harder to make original -- it's really all been done. It could even be that my standards were too high for this film due to the fact that I just finished reading The Catcher In The Rye, which is basically the original coming-of-age story.
If you're looking for something to go see with your mother, I'd say Girl in Progress is a good movie for a crowd of 12 to 14-year-olds to see with their moms. Everyone gets into fights with their moms -- it's inevitable. The end of this film portrays the mother and daughter being able to try again and admit that they were wrong. This is a good reminder that should not be taken lightly. Admitting you were wrong is an especially hard thing to do for both mothers and daughters to do. So forgive your mom and take her to see this movie.
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