What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though there's plenty of questionable behavior from both parents and teens in Girl in Progress, it's also a cautionary tale about what happens when you try to be an adult before you're ready for the consequences. In the main teen character's search for rites of passage to experience, she insults and dumps her best friend, steals money from her mother, changes her appearance, manipulates an adult into buying alcohol, and plans to lose her virginity to the school's resident "player." The language is mostly insults (particularly the word "retarded" and its derivatives), but sexual content includes some mature scenes of the mother and her married lover kissing (sex is implied) and a sequence in which a teen casually tries to schedule her "deflowering" (she's shown stripping to her panties and bra, and the guy is seen shirtless as he fumbles with a condom). This is the kind of coming-of-age tale that can spark substantive conversations between parents and kids.
- Families can talk about Girl in Progress' central message about coming of age. How is adolescence portrayed in the movie? Do high schoolers typically experience rites of passage as part of a checklist or timeline?
- Ansiedad engages in "rebellious" teen behavior in a forced, formulaic manner that almost makes light of teen sexuality and drinking. Is Ansiedad's attitude about sex realistic? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- How is Grace and Ansiedad's mother-daughter relationship portrayed? How was it unhealthy? Is it a realistic look at the dynamic between single moms and their kids?
- The insult "retard" is used in various forms throughout the movie. Even though it's not technically a curse word, it's widely considered a hurtful taunt that shouldn't be said. Do you think it's appropriate for the word to be used, even for the sake of authenticity?
- Ansiedad isn't fond of her very Spanish-sounding name. How is her ethnicity explored in the movie? Is being Latina a positive thing or a negative thing for Ansiedad? Why?