The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

"Good"

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Review


Rising admirably above the bubble-gum genre norm, "TheSisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is a smart, charming, superblyacted summer-adventure matinee about four 17-year-old best friends separatedfor the first time but symbolically linked together by a pair of second-handjeans they share by mail.

Found to inexplicably fit each of them despite very differentbody types, the pants become a touchstone as they're sent from friend tofriend, giving each girl confidence, good luck or comfort from unexpectedhardship just when such encouragement is most needed.

Adapted from the first in a series of popular books byAnn Brashares, the movie has a foundation of coming-of-age cliches, butbuilds upon it beautifully with three-dimensional characters and honestangst, consternation and joy.

Alexis Bledel ("Gilmore Girls") plays shy, beautiful,lanky Lena, whose vacation in a stereotypical Greek fishing village comescomplete with a hunky local (Michael Rady) who rides a Vespa. This is "Sisterhood's"least creative storyline (it even has a "Romeo and Juliet" bent),but Bledel digs for emotional truth and finds it.

Tall, blonde and sporty Blake Lively -- a newcomer worthwatching -- plays bold and flirtatiously forward Bridget, who loses hervirginity by seducing a 20-something coach (Mike Vogel) at a seaside soccercamp in Baja California, grasping for intimacy in the wake of her mother'ssuicide and her father's indifference.

Outspoken yet vulnerable, plus-sized Carmen (talented AmericaFerrera from "RealWomen Have Curves") spends her summer feelinglike an outsider as her father (Bradley Whitford) prepares to wed a WASPy,halcyon minivan mom (Nancy Travis) with a pair of perfect, towheaded teenagers.Ferrera has the movie's most gut-wrenching breakdown as she confronts Dadabout his failure to even tell her about his fianc=E9e before she came tovisit.

But director Ken Kwapis ("He Said, She Said")channels the most emotional energy into the story of punky, cynical Tibby(Amber Tamblyn from "Joan of Arcadia"), a part-time drug-storedrone bitterly stuck at home and making a "suckumentary" aboutsuburban monotony. Tamblyn gives raw heart to a reluctant friendship witha 12-year-old neighbor (Jena Boyd) that takes a tragic, tearjerking turn.

"Sisterhood" nails its emotional tone and itscharacter depth so well that it's all the more disappointing when the picturedoes fall back on contrivances, like the cheesy opening voice-over, a circle-of-candlespants-christening ceremony, and its overly simplistic attempts to wax philosophical.

But because it's a energetic, competently-made film (vividlycolorful and creatively production design, good transitional editing) thatlets its young characters make real mistakes and find real trouble as theytransition realistically into a larger world, "Sisterhood" isexponentially more earnest, affecting and credible than 90 percent of moviesaimed at teenage girls -- and it's universal enough to appeal to women(and even men) in their 20s as well.



The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Facts and Figures

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st June 2005

Box Office USA: $43.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $39.1M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 99 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tibby, as Lena, as Carmen, as Bridget, as Bailey, as Al, as Lydia Rodman, as Carmen's Mother, as Eric, as Kostas, as Brian McBrian, Maria Konstadarou as Yia Yia, George Touliatos as Papou, Kyle Schmid as Paul Rodman, as Soccer Pal Diana, as Krista Rodman, Jacqueline Ann Steuart as Lena's Mother, as Tibby's Mother, as Bridget's Father, Kendall Cross as Bridget's Mother

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