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Parents' Guide to

Girl in Progress

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Coming-of-age story cautions against forcing adulthood.

Movie PG-13 2012 90 minutes
Girl in Progress Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Horrible movie

The mother was awful and had constant questionable behavior. I felt so sorry for her neglected daughter. A character in the movie was a victim of domestic violence and the film did NOTHING to address it. They ignored & minimized it which is beyond sad & deplorable.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

Rate from opinion !

I think girl in progress sends a positive message to viewers , but has sexual content so I'd stick to the rating or watch it before you let someone under 13 watch it .

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Newcomer Ramirez nails her character's self-aware (but completely misguided) attempt to check off various rites of passage in order to reach the intangible goal of adulthood. The young actress carries her half of the story with confidence, and when she has her "epiphany" that some things aren't worth sacrificing for the sake of becoming an adult, it's difficult not to be touched by her vulnerability. And Disney star Rodriguez is adorably sweet as the put-upon best friend who helps Ansiedad until it hurts too much to be around her self-destructive BFF.

While Ansiedad's cluelessness about the way life works is easily explained by her youth, Mendes' character, Grace, is difficult to relate to or empathize with because she makes such reprehensible decisions -- like flaunting her adulterous relationship in front of Ansiedad or generally seeming unaware of her daughter's life unless the principal calls her in for a meeting. Grace's storyline is less interesting by far than Ansiedad's, although it's clear that Grace is really the one who has some growing up to do. The idea of forcing a coming-of-age story is clever, but the mother and daughter dynamic isn't as volatile or intense as necessary for such a conceit to seem necessary. Still, GIRL IN PROGRESS is exactly the kind of movie that a mother and teen daughter could see and have a lot to talk about afterward.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 11, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: September 11, 2012
  • Cast: Cierra Ramirez , Eva Mendes , Matthew Modine
  • Director: Patricia Riggen
  • Inclusion Information: Latino directors, Latino actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: Friendship , High School
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking -- all involving teens
  • Last updated: August 28, 2023

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