Tag Archives: growing up

Girl in Progress Movie Review

9 May

Girl in Progress stars the always captivating Eva Mendes and the beautiful and smart Cierra Ramirez. It’s a story with which so many people are familiar but rarely share. Grace, played by Mendes, is the drunken single mother of teenage Ansiedad, played by Ramirez. Grace was a child who had a child and hasn’t grown up herself. If anyone knows anything about this common situation, the child tends to be the one to raise the parent.

20120509-193840.jpg Photo from Girl In Progress Tumblr.

I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up for the prescreening at Hispanicize. Watching this funny and honest story was a surprise. I can only speak for my experiences but I think I’ve met Ansiedad before (her name is Spanish for anxiety). She is the brilliant student who knows more than enough to be dangerous to herself. She is a child of a parent who abuses alcohol and will either turn in to her mom or do anything to become the opposite. After getting fed up with Grace’s antics of never being there for her, treating her like the housekeeper and staying in an adulterous relationship, Ansiedad decides it’s time she ‘comes of age’ and leave her mom behind.

Her English teacher, played by Patricia Arquette, is teaching coming of age stories. Ansiedad takes these lessons and creates the ‘perfect plan’ to expedite adulthood and free herself of an objectionable childhood. This plan doesn’t come without consequences. She jeopardizes her innocence (what’s left), her friendships and her safety.

The movie doesn’t go without humor which is welcome to play down the seriousness of confrontation between friends and mother and daughter. The moral of the story mixed with cultural humor and grittiness is a bit unbalanced and left me questioning could this be a family-movie special gone rogue?

What I did like: 1. Moral of the story (I’m a sucker for good ones) 2. Enough Latino flair without it shouting ‘we get Latino culture!’ 3. The amazing work of Cierra Ramirez and Eva Mendes.
What I didn’t like: sometimes it moved too fast and the connection to a character feels cut short.
Fun fact: Both Cierra Ramirez and Raini Rodriguez (Ansiedad’s best friend) hail from Texas!

Other cast members are Eugenio Derbez (Grace’s Mexican co-worker), Matthew Modine (Grace’s married boyfriend) and Disney’s Raini Rodriguez (Ansiedad’s best friend). The movie is directed by Patricia Riggen, written by Hiram Martinez and distributed by Panetlion Films. Girl in Progress is set to be released on May 11, Mother’s Day weekend.

¿Qué Means What? did receive a free popcorn and free screening of this movie. All opinions are our own.

Is the Automatic Pilot present?

3 Feb

A friend recently shared with me how on her way to work, she forgot to take her daughter to daycare.  She couldn’t really remember how she got to work but she drove straight there, safely.  Her mind was so preoccupied she forgot about her daughter.  However, she still managed to get herself to work.  Has this EVER happened to you?

I know it’s happened to me.  I’m not talking about being distracted by a cell phone or anything.  I’m talking about driving somewhere and then immediately thinking to yourself  “wow, how did I just get here?”  We are on auto-pilot.  Our brain and memory are facinating.  We don’t even have to “think” and we end up exactly where we should be!

Does this ever feel like your life?  You have a memory that was decade(s) ago.  You enjoy that memory and then immediately think “how did I get from there to here?”  For some, that might occur as a good thing.  Maybe the last few years or so have not been your favorite. 

For others, it’s like, what the ???  How did the time go by so fast? 

Are you experiencing your life or are you on auto-pilot just going thru the motions?  Does anyone remember that movie with Adam Sandler when he has the remote control and fast forwards thru the parts of his life that he thinks he doesn’t want to experience.  The funniest part I remember is how he skips through an entire fight with his wife!  Ha!  Not so easy buddy!  Okay, the funniest part is when he fast fowards and they show the dog humping the stuffed animal! Of course at the end of the  movie he realized that the small things in life do matter.  He regrets not making the time for his family and experiencing their lives with them. 

I’m not an expert in this field but I am a participant in my life.  I have caught myself ignoring my boys because I’m on Twitter or watching a ridiculous reality TV show.  (although it doesn’t seem ridiculous at the time, RHWOA OR BH, ha!)  Or because I just  need to get ONE more email sent.  The crazy thing though is by the end of the night, I have  made them dinner, given baby his bottle, changed pampers, picked up toys and got them in bed.  I can’t tell you how it all happened but it gets done. 

My fear? That this will continue.  And before I know it, they’ll be walking across a stage to receive a diploma.  I acknowledge it now so that I may stop.  Hopefully the time gets shorter and shorter in which it takes for me to recognize it daily. 

My husband works long hours, my boys are growing quickly and I crave solid memories with them.  Some will be funny, happy, sad, or memories of driving one another crazy!  Mainly, I want authentic and specific not auto-pilot and generic. Is this too much to ask?

I mention my family because I have small children right now. But what about you?  What do you want to be present for in your life?  What do you crave to create authentic memories around?  Do you want to look back at your career and remember your sense of purpose?  How about in your community and where you specifically impacted your nieghbors?  Are you present?

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