Girl in Progress
When a young girl decides to choreograph her own coming-of-age story, she ultimately turns her back on everyone and everything she has ever known. But in a fight to gain notice from her single mom, Ansiedad feels that the sacrifices are worth it. With unexpected pain and suffering brewing for the next chapter, our young protagonist is about to learn a hard lesson in growing up.
Starring the always beautiful Eva Mendes and newcomer Cierra Ramirez, Girl in Progress is, for a lack of better words, a work in progress. Starting off strong and featuring a quite original story, the film ultimately showcases its limited budget as it fails to materialize into anything of substance.
Ramirez, who plays our leading lady Ansiedad, is unable to ignite much interest as I never felt a connection of any kind to the lonely character who desperately wants to leave the age of youthful adolescence. Her actions seem desperate, and while she has the plan mapped out to near perfection, her mom's failure to pick up on the gimmick is a bit insulting to her intelligence.
Mendes was hardly ever a representation of an 'absent' parent, but rather one that failed to acknowledge semi-important school achievements. Not to mention my constant confusion as to whether her career aspirations of one day managing her own Red Lobster rip-off restaurant were meant to be seen as a joke or not. I wanted to laugh but wasn't sure if that was its intention as the story appeared to be searching for its own identity throughout much of the 90-minute run time.
I will give the film credit for an ending that, though overly cliché, did hold a punch. The film itself will be much more relatable to the female audience, but in hindsight I can say that I am surprised that Mendes is participating in this project at all. And her involvement is likely the only reason it didn't go straight to store shelves.