Did Lady Bird adapt the Latina story from Real Women Have Curves?

To many Latino and Latina moviegoers, Lady Bird–which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Director–seems a little too familiar.

I haven’t seen the movie yet; I probably won’t.  But many voices continue to point out that the movie about an outspoken daughter navigating a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother during her  senior year of high school is too similar to the story in 2002’s Real Woman Have Curves.

Cultural and entertainment critic Yolanda Machado tweeted, “LADY BIRD is a gentrified version of REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES. While I wouldn’t call it plagiarism, it has definitely taken the beats, styles and tropes of Real Women, and at the very least, is ‘inspired by’ it.”  In a Marie Clarie editorial, Machado said no one is acknowledging this. 

Real Women Have Curves starred then emerging actor America Ferrera and was adapted from a play written by a once undocumented immigrant, Josefina López.

In this 2003 interview with me on Chicago Public Radio, Josefina López explains the inspiration behind her play and movie.  If you’ve seen Lady Bird, post your comment below about the perceived similarities after you hear López’s story.

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