“”The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”” Is Surprisingly Good.

On the surface the basic premise of “”The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants”” seems really silly, I mean come on, a pair of pants that somehow magically fit a close group of four teenage girls manage to keep them together even though they are miles apart? Somehow this film turns out to be surprisingly deep and at times moving despite the goofy hook.

Four girls who are inseparable are about to be separated for the first time in their lives. All four are going on separate adventures over summer break, shy and reserved Lena (Alexis Bledel) is going to Greece to rediscover her heritage and spend time with her Greek relatives, overweight and feisty Mexican/American Carman (America Ferrera) is going to visit her divorced father whom she only sees at Christmas, tall, blonde, and sexy Bridgette (Blake Lively) is off to soccer camp, and brooding, moody Tibby (“”Joan of Arcadia’s Amber Tamblyn) is staying home to film a documentary about the suffering of ordinary lives. Before the girls leave they find a pair of magical pants and promise to send the pants to each other, along with a diary outlining their summer activities. The film is four separate stories, with the pants as the connector. While in Greece Lena tries to use the pants as a confidence booster to help her land a hunky older Greek college student (Kostas) Michael Rady. Director Ken Kwapis (primarily a television director) does an excellent job of bringing Greece alive. The city looks absolutely gorgeous on screen, the chemistry between Rady and Bledel feels real and easy. Carman’s dream of spending a summer alone with her father is ruined when she discovers that he has moved on without her. He is engaged to the perfect blonde woman, and has two perfect blonde children with the son being so blatantly gay that you keep waiting for the subject to come up. Carman sticks out like a sore thumb in this tapestry of whiteness. She tries hard to fit in, but it simply isn’t working. When the pants arrive she gets her confidence back and confronts her father about his new family. In the best and most emotional story of the four, while filming her documentary Tibby meets an annoying little girl, Bailey (Jenna Boyd) who worms her way into her life and documentary. Bailey is a motor mouth who doesn’t know when to shut up, she hoards her way into Tibby’s interviews, and becomes Tibby’ “”Production Assistant.”” For such a young actress, Jenna Boyd really displays a depth and range of emotions that it’s hard to believe she’s only 12 years old. Where is she getting her “”life pain”” from? She is the new and improved Dakota Fanning. The one question I have about this story arc is how does a 16 year old, who work at Walman’s (the film’s version of Walmart) afford a $5,000 Panasonic Camera?At Soccer camp, Bridgette who is used to getting what she wants, sets her sights on one of her coaches, a typical, bland blonde, Eric (Mike Vogel) who you are never quite sure if he is gay or not. This is perhaps the weakest of the four stories. The weird thing about Sisterhood is that it is about these girls strong friendship, yet they hardly spend any screen time together. The pants serve as the bond and “”spirit”” of the friendship, whenever the second hand jeans appear you feel that the connection is there. All four principals have good chemistry together. “”The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants”” is one of those annoying, by the numbers, after school special, sickly sweet kind of films that will give you sugar shock by the end. And you know what? In this case that’s not a bad thing.Final Grade BEM Review byMichelle AlexandriaOriginally Posted 06/04/05


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