DVD Review: Girl In Progress

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Lions Gate is going to pump up the drama like nobody’s business with the release of “Girl in Progress,” a copy of which the folks out at Lionsgate sent our way to review. While this one is going to take some very interesting chances, many of them will fall flat, and the end result is going to be something that’s very tightly tailored for a very specific segment of the moviegoing public.

“Girl in Progress” follows Grace, a single mother with a problem. Specifically, her daughter, Ansiedad. Her daughter is growing up a lot faster than she ever expected, and certainly faster than she wanted. But her daughter’s rapid advancement is increasingly at odds with her own lifestyle, and this mom that won’t grow up is trying to deal with a daughter who is doing just that, and a lot faster than she probably should. This is putting the two at loggerheads, and a substantial strain on their relationship besides. Will Grace learn her place as a mother to her daughter? Will her daughter discover the value in waiting to be grown up?

And as a side question, does anyone actually care? Because frankly, watching Girl in Progress made me ask that particular question an awful lot. I spent the better part of 93 minutes asking myself why anyone should even remotely care about some selfish little girl raising an equally selfish little girl who was trying to be a selfish little woman. Admittedly, I did have a few good laughs out of this–which is a thoroughly welcome development–but still, the central thrust remains: why should anyone care?

Perhaps the big problem here is that they’re going to telegraph their punches like nobody’s business. A disturbingly large chunk of the movie is given away by the 15 minute mark, and that’s pretty disturbing. I’m not going to spoiler it for you–frankly, Ansiedad will do a pretty good job spoilering the movie herself, especially by the time she brings up the map containing the plot, or at least her part of it–but it’s still downright unsettling to see a chunk of the plot given away as surely as if they’d included a part of the script along with the DVD. Sure, it doesn’t quite turn out the way Ansiedad projected, but still, it’s a large chunk just handed over to the viewer for no clear reason.

Admittedly, “Girl in Progress” is not specifically a bad movie. It makes some rather unexpected moves, and that’s something to its credit, but the moves that it makes aren’t all that pleasant to watch. Frankly, “Girl in Progress” is going to be one of those movies that’s strictly for the truest drama lovers out there.

Those who can’t abide some really potent drama will not be welcome here, and those who are offended by the lack of surprise thanks to the true disaster going on at the 15 minute mark should stay well away. Still though, for those who love drama and don’t mind it badly given away, “Girl in Progress” will prove welcome.

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